Emergency crews responded early Monday (April 21) to a human-waste spill in Tontitown.
The incident at about 10 a.m. on Klenc Road was first thought to involve chicken waste but later was determined to be a human-waste spill, according to a news release from Kristopher Arthur, Tontitown’s director of public safety.
A truck hauling dehydrated human waste for the city of Huntsville to a landfill in Tontitown was responsible for the spill.
“A gate valve opened, and there’s about a two-mile stretch of area where they dumped it right off of Highway 412,” said Rick Johnson, Washington County Emergency Management director.
Police said the driver involved in the spill was cited three times by state police on suspicion of traffic violations and once by Tontitown police in connection with spilling human waste.
The city of Huntsville had hired a third-party company, Jimmy Jones Trucking of Berryville, to haul the waste, Arthur said.
A crew from Huntsville participated in the cleanup effort Monday.
The spill was expected to remain slick for several days. Officials said they planned to spread lime on the spill to “minimize the odors until they dissipate,” Johnson said.
Charles Greenlee, who lives along Klenc Road, said the spill “smelled really raunchy.” Greenlee said he is worried about the potential health risks.
“With it raining, the waste is going to go into the grass and stuff,” he said. “I mean it is a good thing we are not on well water, because I would be afraid to drink the water.”
Johnson said officials do not plan to test the water at this time, but he said there is a risk for some bacteria or viruses in the waste. For those who drove on the roadway, Johnson said he would advise them not to use their hands to remove the waste from their cars. He recommended getting a car wash.