Local News

3rd spill in 6 months reported at manure digester

Approximately 35,000 gallons of manure spilled Wednesday morning

WAUNAKEE, Wis. - Approximately 35,000 gallons of manure spilled from a broken pipe at a manure digesting facility north of Waunakee Wednesday morning, according to a release.

The spill was captured by a stormwater retention pound, officials said.

"No manure appears to have escaped the facility grounds," said David Mosher, who inspected the scene for the Department of Natural Resources.

The broken pipe was different than the two previous pipes that broke in November and January that released an estimated 380,000 and 20,000 gallons of manure, according to the release.

"We will be keeping very close contact with the management and the operations of the facility, and it will be consistently checked," said Kevin Connors, with Dane County Lake and Water Resources.

The project is a public and private partnership aimed at reducing phosphorus levels in the Yahara River watershed and producing renewable energy.

After the November spill, Clear Horizons, the company that operates the facility, commissioned a study that released its preliminary results in January.

According to the study, the ground settling or slight pipe movement caused susceptible pipes to fail at the elbow in the November incident. The second pipe failure was likely caused by the same issue.
The company is installing flexible connectors at the elbows to prevent future pipe issues, according to the release.

A cause for the most recent spill has not been determined.

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