CHARLES CITY — A rural Charles City farmer has been fined $3000 by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as part of a resolution of water quality violations from a silage discharge from his silage storage.

The Department of Natural Resources says on December 6th, their field office received a complaint regarding discolored water in a tributary of the Little Cedar River near Timber Avenue in rural Charles City. DNR personnel traveled upstream to where a tile was flowing into the tributary from the east, with a test indicating ammonia with a brown substance in the tributary. They then traveled further upstream to a fork in the tributary with water flowing from the direction of a farmstead on the east side and from a woodland drainage area on the west side. A field test detected ammonia in the water from the direction of the farmstead, but no ammonia from the direction of the wooded area.

The personnel then traveled to the farmstead and spoke to Melinda Martin, who indicated the cloudy water must be from silage water, and on further investigation, lab samples from a tile outlet indicated ammonia. Two days later, the DNR returned to talk to Benjamin Martin, explaining they had tracked an ammonia discharge to the tile discharging on the property, with Martin replying that the tile drained two of the three silage silos at the farmstead. The DNR then issued a notice of violation letter to Martin.

A consent order between the DNR and Martin says that he shall submit a written plan detailing how the silage runoff will be managed at his facility within 30 days and that he pay an administrative penalty of $3000.

You can see the full details of the consent order by clicking here