WOLCOTTVILLE — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is monitoring chemicals that were accidentally discharged into the north branch of the Elkhart River from the Wolcottville Wastewater Treatment Plant.
It is estimated that approximately 1,200 to 1,400 gallons of ferric chloride was released inside the plant and an unknown amount made it into the plant’s discharge.
IDEM is recommending people and animals avoid the water near the plant’s discharge site until the investigation is complete.
Following is the full release from IDEM dated Thursday, Aug. 13:
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has been notified that acidic ferric chloride is being discharged from the Wolcottville wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The release began overnight and the town is working to dilute the chemical. The plant discharges into the North Branch of the Elkhart River approximately 4.5 miles due west of the WWTP in Noble County near the 1800 block of West County Line Road. The location of the WWTP is at 604 West County Line Road, Wolcottville in LaGrange County.
Yesterday, between 1,200 and 1,400 gallons of the chemical was released within the plant. Some of the material has been contained within the facility, but an unknown quantity of the orange colored liquid is being released with the plant’s discharge.
Ferric chloride is used in small quantities to treat wastewater. However, the chemical can pose a danger to humans if it comes in contact with skin or is ingested.
Citizens are advised to avoid contact with the creek and keep children, pets, and livestock out of the water. IDEM is working with WWTP personnel and other agencies such as The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and local health and emergency officials.