John Deere reports wastewater bypass to Iowa DNR - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

John Deere reports wastewater bypass to Iowa DNR

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OTTUMWA (KWWL) -

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says John Deere's Ottumwa Works has reported that a wastewater bypass entered Black Lake quarry on Monday morning.

The DNR says workers found a cross connection was allowing untreated wastewater from two restrooms to enter a storm sewer. That storm sewer then flows into Black Lake which is northeast of the plant.

John Deere says the restrooms were immediately closed, stopping the discharge.

The DNR says any fish taken from the lake are safe to eat because the bacteria are found in the water, not in fish flesh. Anglers should wash their hands and rinse off the fish before cleaning them. They should also cook the fish properly. They should also avoid fishing near the open water area where the discharge entered the lake.

It is unknown how much untreated wastewater entered the lake, but the DNR says the bypass began in mid-December during a sewer improvement project. They say the amount of wastewater discharged into the lake was somewhat reduced during the holidays when the plant was closed for 10 days.

The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and is considering appropriate enforcement action.

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