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Energy and Environment

Ferric Sulfate Leaks Into Arkansas River

Carla Eckels

A chemical used for water treatment leaked into the Arkansas River overnight near downtown Wichita. Public Works & Utilities maintenance crews have plugged the leak. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports...

Ferric sulfate, used to settle out particles in untreated water as it flows into the plant, leaked through a corroded drain pipe at the treatment plant --near a bike path south of Cowtown. The chemical release resulted in small dead fish. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is investigating. The City’s Joe Pajor says the chemical release does not pose a risk to drinking water.

“Our water treatment processes were never compromised as a result of this release,” he says. "The water in the river is safe for normal recreational contact. Both the city and KDHE have measured the PH in the river and have determined that it’s not a public health problem.”

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism will examine the dead fish and will pass their findings on to KDHE.