Around 2:00 yesterday afternoon, the Fairfield Fire Department was dispatched to a possible hazardous material spill behind the recreation center on the Maharishi University of Management campus. According to Jefferson County Attorney Timothy Dille, this spill caused water in Crow Creek to turn red. Hazardous material team members from the Ottumwa Fire Department were notified and upon investigation, no hazardous materials were found.
The source of the spill came from a location on North Second Street where a person was found to be dumping a red paint material into a floor drain. Crews contacted the manufacturers of the product and all components were found to be non-toxic with the exception of one that was a trade secret and unknown to the toxicologist.
As a precaution, a decision was made to pump the water from the creek into the storm sewer where it would go to the waste water treatment plant to be treated and diluted to safe levels. After a test this morning, all water is clear and no materials remain in the creek.
Those responding to the scene were the Fairfield Fire Department, Hazardous Materials Team from the Ottumwa Fire Department, Fairfield Police Department, the Jefferson County Police Reserves, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Fairfield Streets Department, Fairfield Water Department, Fairfield Waste Water Department, Jefferson County Area Ambulance Service and the Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator.