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Published January 25 2011

Health Department fines NDSU $5K for manure spill last summer

FARGO – North Dakota State University has been fined $5,000 in connection with a manure spill last July, the Department of Health said today.

Up to $4,000 of that fine can be dismissed if NDSU meets certain conditions aimed at preventing future spills, said Dennis Fewless, the department’s director of the water quality division.

The investigation determined that 110,000 gallons of cow manure and liquid was accidentally discharged at the facility on 19th Avenue North.

NDSU was able to recover 70,000 gallons of liquid and 30,000 gallons of solid waste and manure, Fewless said.

Investigators determined that between 2,000 and 2,500 gallons of waste made it to drain No. 10, which runs into the Red River.

The Department of Health could not conclusively determine if the spill caused the deaths of about 100 fish, Fewless said.

The spill was caused by a pump that malfunctioned overnight on a weekend.

“NDSU was very proactive once the situation was discovered,” Fewless said.