A break in a six-inch city water line late Thursday sent treated city water through a storm sewer to McLoud Run, killing 70 to 75 trout and some white suckers, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported on Friday.
McLoud Run in northeast Cedar Rapids is stocked with trout and is promoted as an urban trout stream.
Steve Hershner, the city’s utilities director, on Friday said a citizen phoned the city at 11:40 p.m. Thursday about the water line break at Council Street NE and Miami Drive NE. City crews shut the leak off at 1 a.m., Hershner said.
Hershner said the age of the water line likely was responsible for the break.
Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the DNR, said Friday that the agency will decide later if it will assess the city a fee or require it to make restitution for the dead fish. The dead trout were 14 inches to 18 inches in length, he said.
Hershner said chlorinated city water entering a small stream, particularly at a low flow like McLoud Run is now experiencing, can harm fish just like it can harm fish in a home fish tank if tap water isn’t de-chlorinated.
Baskins said DNR biologists will return to the run to see if more than 70 to 75 trout died from the water line break. Portions of the run were too cloudy on Friday to make a final fish-kill count, he said.