- Associated Press - Friday, December 11, 2015

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Oklahoma wildlife officials say a discharge of partially treated wastewater from an Arkansas wastewater plant killed over 30,000 fish along a Siloam Springs tributary.

The fish kill happened in September when the apparent failure at Sager Creek Foods caused the diversion of industrial wastewater to the treatment plant without undergoing the normal pretreatment process, the Muskogee Phoenix (https://bit.ly/1IJWmns ) reported.

Officials said this week that the discharge overwhelmed the plant and “partially treated sewage” spilled into Sager Creek, which flows into Flint Creek, a stream that empties into the Illinois River.

Officials say the fish kill occurred over the course of at least three days, starting Sept. 29. Wildlife officials say the discharged wastewater from Sager Creek Foods lacked the levels of dissolved oxygen necessary for aquatic life.

Siloam Springs spokeswoman Holland Hayden said last week that strict monitoring requirements imposed on the company as part of a cease and desist order, issued Oct. 7, were allowed to expire, but penalties for six alleged permit violations remain an option.



The company previously said that it “continues to work with local authorities regarding this issue.”

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says the impact to the fish and wildlife resources in the Delaware County segment of Sager Creek is about $14,000 and the costs related to the investigation of the fish kill are nearly $2,000.

Oklahoma law allows the state agency to pursue reimbursement costs related to the replacement value of fish lost as a result of pollution and associated investigations. The replacement cost is calculated based on values set by the American Fisheries Societies.

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Information from: Muskogee Phoenix, https://www.muskogeephoenix.com

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This story has been corrected to show the impact to wildlife resources is valued at $14,000.

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This story has been corrected to show that the power failure occurred at Sager Creek Foods, not the wastewater plant.

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