CAMPBELLSPORT, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working alongside a Fond du Lac County dairy farm to respond to a discharge of feed leachate to a tributary of Lomira Creek.
According to a release, Clover Hill Dairy was able to stop the release and is removing polluted water from the steam.
Feed leachate is a byproduct of the fermentation, or ensiling, process used to preserve corn silage and other common feeds for dairy cattle.
Officials say it’s usually captured by farms and spread on fields like a liquid fertilizer to grow a variety of crops.
If it escapes to a waterway, it can cause a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen available in the water for aquatic life like fish and tadpoles.
The impacted stream flows south to join Lomira Creek near Highway 28. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, water quality in Lomira Creek and nearby marshes appeared normal on Tuesday, October 11.
However, upstream from Rolling Drive, DNR staff noted cloudy water, a ‘sewage’ odor, and dead fish.
The DNR reports Clover Hill Dairy is a permitted concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Fond du Lac County. The farm pumps polluted water from the stream and uses tractors and hoses to apply it to adjacent fields in their nutrient management plan or return it to their waste storage.
Officials are monitoring the cleanup process.