Dairy cited for fish kill, pollution in Midtown creek

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Midtown dairy plant was cited by the state for polluting a nearby creek, killing fish and turning the water rusty orange downstream.

Citizens notified the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation about the dirty water in Lick Creek, which runs into the Wolf River, just before Christmas, according to a state report.

Inspectors saw dead fish and orange water and traced the problem to Forest Hill Dairy at 2040 Madison Ave., saying the dairy plant had recently dismantled a chiller that was connected to a storm drain.

The plant now operates under the Prairie Farms name.

TDEC said in a letter to the company last week that the discharge was a violation of the Clean Water Act and the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act.

Forest Hill Dairy must submit to the state a stormwater pollution prevention plan by Feb. 8.

The state report stated, “There are no risks or hazards associated with the Iron rich sediment left behind due to this release.”

A Forest Hill Dairy representative said the company had made a mistake, and the state did a thorough job in its inspection.

The plant, which has operated near Overton Square for decades, began a $5 million expansion in 2017.

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