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August 13, 2015: Indiana Department of Environmental Management Monitoring Elkhart Chemical Discharge into Elkhart River

Environmental Officials Monitoring Elkhart Chemical Discharge – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is advising residents to avoid contact with the North Branch of the Elkhart River after it was learned that an unknown amount of acidic ferric chloride was released into the water by the Wolcottville Wastewater Treatment Plant on August 12, 2015. Residents should make sure that their pets and livestock do not come into contact with the water as well.

According to the IDEM press release dated August 13, 2015, between 1,200 and 1,400 gallons of acidic ferric chloride was released within the treatment plant. While some of the chemical has been contained within the facility, an unknown quantity is being released with the plant’s discharge into the North Branch of the Elkhart River. The town is working to dilute the chemical.

Ferric chloride (described as an orange colored liquid) is used in small quantities to treat wastewater. However, the chemical can pose a danger to humans if it comes in contact with skin or is ingested.

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