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Manure pit near Canton emptied after 1 million gallon spill

CANTON — Much of the remaining manure has been removed from a 2.2-million gallon above-ground storage pit near Canton where a wall failed Sunday, allowing about 1 million gallons to escape, with some flowing into a trout stream.

Also, a dirt berm was put around the break in the wall at the Soiney Farms in case any rainfall should get into the pit and take manure with it as it runs out, said Cathy Rofshus, a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokeswoman.

The farmer, neighbors and state personnel worked until 10 p.m. Tuesday and then again were back at work early Wednesday taking out any solids remaining, she said.

MPCA officials took water samples from Donaldson Creek and Wisel Creek, a trout stream, and didn't see any dead fish, she said. A Department of Natural Resources survey Monday also didn't find dead fish.

How much manure got into the creeks from the Soiney spill is hard to know because of so much runoff from the rain, she said.

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The last time a spill of this magnitude, caused by a failed pit wall, was reported in the region was about two years ago near Weaver Bottoms south of Kellogg, she said. That one was stopped before manure got into the Mississippi River backwaters.

The pit was built in 2011 after getting a permit from Fillmore County, she said.

The MPCA is still investigating whether any charges should be filed against the owner, she said.

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