DNR monitoring water quality after 100,000-gallon manure spill in Brown County

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources responded to a 100,000-gallon manure spill at the James Kroll Farm on Finger Road in the Town of Humboldt, which is located in southeast Brown County.

The DNR says the manure reached School Creek, a tributary of the Kewaunee River.

"The DNR and county health department advise the public that the water in the stream might not be safe for people or pets. Surface water samples are being taken to monitor water quality impacts," reads a statement from the DNR.

"DNR has determined there is some risk of groundwater impact due to the dominant geology in area being shallow bedrock and advises private well owners to closely monitor water quality."

The spill happened on March 13 when a valve was left open by a farm employee, according to the agency.

"Cleanup began early Tuesday. DNR and county staff arriving at the scene determined it was a larger, expanding spill and directed a more aggressive cleanup with more berms, sumps and pumping," says a statement from the DNR.

The manure flowed for about 3.5 miles, reaching the Luxemburg Road crossing.

"We built soil dams in front of culverts and that would allow the manure to pool up. Then we use vac trucks to suck up manure and that is brought over to another manure pit," said Rick Joslin, DNR spill coordinator.

DNR says the source of the spill is contained, and they have the spill cleaned up.

"It was was a significant release, the farmer was cooperative and I am happy with how this progressed over the last three days," said Joslin.

But Action 2 News spoke with some residents, who didn't want to speak on camera, who don't feel the same way. They are upset they weren't notified about the spill until 3 days after it happened.

"It didn't seem as significant as it turned out to be and when you are in the response mode, you need to focus on what is going on and work with the farmer, it just takes time," said Joslin.

DNR is working with Brown County Land & Water Conservation and the farm owner.

"The Kroll farm, located in the Town of Humboldt, is not a CAFO, or concentrated animal feeding operation, and does not operate under a DNR permit," says the DNR statement.

Well owners with questions should go to the website dnr.wi.gov, and search the key word “wells”. They can also contact JaNelle Merry, a DNR private well specialist, directly at 920-662-5484.

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