Ford truck plant behind massive fish kill in Oldham County

Updated: Jul. 21, 2017 at 10:02 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Harrods Creek in Oldham County is a popular place to fish and canoe, but this week the view has not been so nice.

A massive fish kill in the creek near Sleepy Hollow Road has the creek littered with dead fish.

It's a shocking sight on what would normally be a beautiful creek. Hundreds of dead fish float on the surface, maggots and flies already having made a home for themselves on the carcasses.

"This was about two days ago," explained Bob Hull who lives on a hill next to the creek.

He says he was doing yard work when he received a strange call from a neighbor.

"She was concerned about what was going on with the dead fish in the water," Hull said.

The neighbor who called Hull described that her grandchildren were wading and fishing in Harrods Creek when a swarm of dead fish floated towards them.

"The mothers got them out of the water and came right up here and washed them up," Hull said. "Their hands, feet and legs in the water that made contact."

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Concerned about the fish, more neighbors called around triggering an investigation. On Friday, Metro Sewer District released this statement:

"On Monday evening there was a chemical release into the sewer system at the Ford Truck plant.  The chemical did go through the Hite Creek treatment facility and into Hite Creek.  It did result in killing a couple hundred fish.  The preliminary investigation report is currently being completed."

The Ford Truck Plant also released a statement describing the chemical in more detail:

"We are absolutely committed to the health and safety of the Louisville community and ensuring our properties meet all environmental requirements. A urea pumping system at Kentucky Truck Plant leaked earlier this month and, after going through Ford's wastewater treatment plant, was released into the sewer leading to the Metropolitan Sewer District treatment plant. We have eliminated the source of the leak and do not expect any further issues. Urea is a naturally occurring substance. We use it to reduce emissions in diesel engines."

Even though Hull lives so close to the natural resource, he said he rarely goes into the water.

"That's why we stay out of the water as much as we can, for when something like this happens," Hull said. "It's not good."

The Kentucky Environmental Protection Agency was out on Friday afternoon monitoring the creek to see if there are any changes. A spokesperson for the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife says it is unclear whether they will have any cleanup plans for the creek.

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