Herchel Anderson Jr.’s backyard offers some of nature’s best kept secrets. He owns 12 acres of land in Pleasant Valley, Iowa that’s home to deer, turkeys, and now, a man-made problem.
“Look at that muck. Muck in my creek. In your river. In the water you drink from,” Anderson exclaimed, grabbing handfuls of silt from the creek that runs through his land.
Silt is a clay like sediment that is dug up from beneath the soil. When mixed with water, it sinks to the bottom. What used to be a creek bed covered in rocks is now smothered in silt.
Anderson’s issue, the creek that runs through his property is connected to the Mississippi River.
“That’s going into the people’s drinking water,” Anderson said, pointing towards the silt that runs down the hill.
Anderson said the problem began more than a year ago when a construction company started building a house up the hill from Anderson’s home. After it rained, he noticed silt was filling his creek. Then, he found the culprit of the problem.
“There was nothing set in place to block the silt from running downhill,” Anderson said.
Anderson then notified the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. At that point, the construction company building the house put up a silt fence, but Anderson says it didn’t help.
“It’s been put in poorly,” Anderson said.
The aftermath of rainstorms has buckled the fence, and in result, served no purpose.
Anderson is now asking for the public to put pressure on Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources.
“The construction company is cutting cost by not taking the proper precautions, while the people in town are paying more to clean out their water.”