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GRIMES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it has determined the cause of odor and milky-gray water in Little Beaver Creek.

The DNR says after receiving complaints Tuesday about the smell and discolored water in the creek, it was able to trace the issues back to the Grimes wastewater treatment plant. According to the department, inadequately treated wastewater released into the creek, along with low streamflow, caused the problems.

Poor water quality has been noted to extend from the wastewater plant, downstream to the east of Highway 141. The DNR says it did not observe any fish, living or dead, in that stretch of the waterway.

The DNR is warning that children and pets should be kept away from the creek until the conditions improve.

The City of Grimes has plans to eventually connect to the Des Moines Waste Reclamation Authority so the water can be treated adequately. In the meantime, the DNR is working with the city to come up with interim solutions to improve its treatment process.

The city could face fines from the DNR for failing to comply with the current wastewater requirements.