Officials say a failing lift station on Tuesday leaked raw sewage into Kokomo Creek near the American Legion Golf Course, resulting in a fish kill.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) received notification at around 4 p.m. Tuesday of dead fish in the creek near the golf course. An investigation revealed the city sewer utility had a lift station failure there that discharged raw sewage into the waterway.
The city said the lift station was repaired by around 7:30 p.m. the same day.
Barry Sneed, IDEM’s public information officer, said the spill impacted around 1 mile of the creek. He said IDEM emergency response personnel, an IDEM wastewater inspector and staff with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, were all on site Thursday to fully assess the situation.
Brian Smith, and on-site coordinator for IDEM, was also dispatched to the scene to determine whether active remediation of the creek was warranted, according to a release from the city.
Smith discovered suppressed dissolved oxygen and elevated ammonia nitrogen levels in creek. In addition to dead fish, Smith also observed live fish at the spill site.
Smith determined that because there were live fish present in the water, active pumping or remediation of the creek would be more detrimental to the surviving aquatic life, according to the release.
Instead, the city plans to pump out problem areas and to aerate portions of the creek to aid the increase of dissolved oxygen, as well help with the septic smell of the creek caused by the sewage.
The city of Kokomo and IDEM are recommending the public avoid contact with the Kokomo Creek from the American Legion Golf Course to Highland Park until further notice.