Chemical spill blamed for Arkansas River fish kill

cottonwood river

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a chemical spill at Wichita’s water treatment plant into the Arkansas River killed some fish but poses no risk to public health.

The ferric sulfate spilled early Wednesday from a corroded drain pipe at the plant and into the river near downtown Wichita. The chemical is used to settle out particles in untreated water as it flows into the plant.

Public works deputy director Joseph Pajor says between 1,700 and 2,000 gallons of the chemical spilled.

He says that when a pipe linking two storage tanks broke, a pump continued to spill the chemical onto the floor of a building. The chemical then flowed through a storm drain into the river.

A small number of small fish were killed. They were found downstream behind a sandbar in shallow water.


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