IDEM monitoring chemical discharge in Wolcottville

The Wolcottville Wastewater Treatment Plant on West County Line Road. (Courtesy: Google Maps)

WOLCOTTVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is monitoring a discharge of acidic ferric chloride from the Wolcottville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

IDEM was notified early Wednesday morning that the plant was discharging the chemical and officials are working to dilute the chemical.

The plant discharges into the north branch of the Elkhart River approximately 4 1/2 miles west of the plant in Noble County. The facility is located at 604 West County Line Road in LaGrange County on the western edge of Wolcottville.

IDEM said during the day Wednesday approximately 1,200 to 1,400 gallons of the chemical was released within the plant, but an unknown amount was being released with the plant’s discharge. IDEM has not said if it has contaminated the Elkhart River. Ferric chloride is an orange-colored liquid. IDEM some of the the chemical has been contained within the facility.

Ferric chloride is used in small quantities to treat wastewater, but can pose a danger to humans if it comes in contact with skin or is ingested.

IDEM said residents in the area of Wolcottville should avoid the water near the discharge site, including pets and livestock.

IDEM is working with Wolcottville officials, local health and emergency officials and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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