Official: Creek#039;s different color isn#039;t cause for alarm

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2002

There's an explanation for that greenish-orangish-yellowish cloudy water flowing in Dobbins Creek.

It's sediment from a deep well being drilled in Red Rock Township.

There is no health hazard and the cloudy water has not been showing up in residential wells.

Email newsletter signup

Bill Buckley, environmental health supervisor for the Mower County Department of Environmental Services, recently began receiving calls from citizens inquiring about the changing color of water in Dobbins Creek.

At the time, environmental heath services workers from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were fielding inquiries about truck traffic at the former Red Rock sanitary landfill along Mower County No. 46/16, east of the Austin Country Club.

That, explained the MPCA, was due to routine maintenance efforts to repair the cover over the former sanitary landfill.

When the Dobbins Creek water started looking cloudy, residents became concerned again.

Buckley investigated the source of the colored water and found it to be a 350-foot residential well being drilled north of the closed landfill and Dobbins Creek in what is called The Meadows at Dobbins Creek.

The residential development of Dan Hodgman is located off Mower County No. 24. Thein Well Drilling Company of Rochester is drilling the deep well to serve three residential lots at Hodgman's development.

According to Buckley, the changing colors of Dobbins Creek are really sediments surfacing from Thein's well and flowing into the creek.

"There is no health hazard," said Buckley. "The discoloration is appearing only in Dobbins Creek and not any residential wells in the area."

Larry Dolphin, director of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, was among the first to call Buckley with his concerns. Dobbins Creek flows through the Nature Center.

Buckley assured Dolphin as well as others that no health problem exists.

Buckley said the sediments from clay and silt should settle to the Dobbins Creek creek bed and stay there until high water washes them away.

Lee Bonorden can be reached at 434-2232 or by e-mail at