Iowa DNR

Water Quality Assessments

Impaired Waters List

Long Dick Creek IA 03-SSK-2007

N. line of S34 (SE1/4) T86N R23W Hamilton Co to headwaters in NE1/4 S8 T87N R23W Hamilton Co.

Assessment Cycle
Result Period
2004 - 2006
General Use
Assessment Methodology
Assessment Type
Integrated Report
Category 5b
Legacy ADBCode
IA 03-SSK-0091_0
Overall Use Support
Aquatic Life Use Support
Primary Contact Recreation
Not assessed
Assessment Comments

Assessment remains based on results of an IDNR investigation of a fish kill in April 2004.

Basis for Assessment

[Note:  Prior to the current (2008) Section 305(b) cycle, this stream segment was classified only for general uses.   Due to changes in Iowa’s surface water classification that were approved by U.S.  EPA in February 2008 (see, this segment is now presumptively designated for Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses and for Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses.   According to the Iowa Water Quality Standards, all perennial rivers and streams and all intermittent streams with perennial pools that are not specifically listed in the Iowa surface water classification are designated as Class A1 and Class B(WW1) waters.   Thus, for the current (2008) assessment, perennial flow is presumed, and the available water quality monitoring data will be compared to the applicable Class A1 and Class B(WW1) water quality criteria.]

SUMMARY:  The presumptive Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses are "not assessed" due to the lack of information upon which to base an assessment.   The presumptive Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses of this stream remain assessed (monitored) as “partially supported” due to a fish kill in April 2004.   The kill was caused by animal waste.   Although the party responsible for the kill was identified, IDNR records do not indicate that IDNR sought restitution for the value of the fish killed or for the costs incurred by DNR during the investigation of the kill.   Thus, this impairment is appropriate for Category 5b of Iowa’s 2006 Integrated Report (=Section 303(d) list).  

EXPLANATION:  This kill occurred on April 19, 2004; the cause of the kill was attributed to animal waste.   An estimated 15 fish (“minnows”) were killed; no estimate of the value of the fish killed was provided.   No estimate of the length of stream was provided.   The party responsible for the kill was identified.   According to the IDNR investigation, a commercial applicator dumped approximately 3,000 gallons of manure after he became stuck while land-applying the manure in a farm field roughly three miles northeast of Randall.   Although dumping the manure allowed the applicator to free his equipment, the manure reached a broken tile line at the end of the field.   An unknown amount of manure reached Long Dick Creek through this tile line.   The applicator acted quickly to place dams (1) in front of the tile line break and (2) below the tile line to block manure coming out of the line from reaching the creek.   The applicator pumped manure from behind the dams into a honey wagon.   He also flushed contamination out of the tile line with about 1600 gallons of clean water.  

According to IDNR’s assessment/listing methodology, the occurrence of a single pollutant-caused fish kill, or a fish kill of unknown origin, on a waterbody or waterbody reach during the most recent assessment period indicates a severe stress to the aquatic community and suggests that the aquatic life uses should be assessed as “impaired”.   If a cause of the kill is identified, and the cause is either known, or suspected, to be a “pollutant”, the assessment type is considered “monitored” and the affected waterbody is a candidate for Section 303(d) listing.   Fish kills attributed to a pollutant, but where a source of the pollutant was not identified and/or where enforcement actions were not taken against the responsible party, will be placed into Integrated Report subcategory 5b.   The intent of placing these waterbodies into Category 5 is not to necessarily require a TMDL but to keep the impairment highlighted due to the potential for similar future kills from the unaddressed causes and/or sources.

Monitoring and Methods
Assessment Key Dates
4/19/2004 Fishkill
140 Incidence of spills and/or fish kills
Monitoring Levels
Biological 0
Habitat 0
Physical Chemistry 0
Toxic 0
Pathogen Indicators 0
Other Health Indicators 0
Other Aquatic Life Indicators 0
# of Bio Sites 0
BioIntegrity N/A
Causes and Sources of Impairment
Causes Use Support Cause Magnitude Sources Source Magnitude
Unionized Ammonia Overall Use Support Moderate
  • Intensive Animal Feeding Operations
  • Moderate
Organic enrichment/Low DO Overall Use Support Moderate
  • Intensive Animal Feeding Operations
  • Moderate