Wastewater discharged into Ottumwa lake

OTTUMWA (AP) — Environmental officials say wastewater from two restrooms at a John Deere facility in Ottumwa has been accidentally entering a nearby lake since December.

The state Department of Natural Resources says officials at John Deere Ottumwa Works discovered the discharge Monday. They immediately closed the restrooms.

Workers say the wastewater entered through a storm sewer that flows into Black Lake. They believe the discharge began in mid-December, following a storm water improvement project. It’s unclear how much wastewater went into the lake, though the plant was closed for 10 days over the holidays.

A spokesman for John Deere says the company is cooperating with DNR officials to ensure the issue is resolved.

City officials are currently testing the water. DNR is encouraging ice fishers to thoroughly clean fish before cooking them.