Broiler, Chef’s Inn look to stop pollution

Maria Ball

Two Ames restaurants that have been cited as contaminators of College Creek are continuing their efforts to stop pollution, a city official said.

The Broiler Restaurant, 6008 West Lincoln Way, and Chef’s Inn Restaurant, 6400 West Lincoln Way, were identified by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as two of the pollutants of College Creek, which city officials discovered has high levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

“They’re working very hard to get their new systems put in,” said Bob Kindred, assistant to the city manager of Ames.

“We’re heartened by the efforts being made by the restaurants to quickly stop discharging into the drain tile.”

Jim Stricker, field office supervisor for the DNR, said he expects Chef’s Inn to have its system improvements in place by the end of the summer.

In the meantime, Chef’s Inn has agreed to pump the waste from its septic tank to a trailer that will take the waste to the Ames sewage treatment plant.

Kindred said Chef’s Inn Restaurant last week hauled a 600-gallon tank to the plant for a trial run.

The Broiler has chosen to permanently eliminate its discharge into College Creek instead of pumping its waste and disposing it at the Ames plant, Stricker said.

“The Broiler produces maybe a half to one-third of what Chef’s Inn produces. They’re a much smaller operation,” Kindred said.

Both Stricker and Kindred said they expect the restaurants to have their improvements in place by the end of the year.

Kindred said the DNR and the county sanitarians are doing their best to clean up College Creek as soon as possible.

The problem still needs attention because waste has been draining into the creek for many years from a number of sources, Kindred said.

“There’s years of accumulation from all of them,” he said.

City officials spent part of their day last Friday examining College Creek.

Kindred said he didn’t notice any improvement in the creek, but he also couldn’t detect any changes.

“It’s hard to say there was any improvement, because I have a layperson’s perspective, but it didn’t seem worse,” he said.

However, Kindred said he wants to assure people who live near College Creek, which includes residential areas of West Ames and the ISU campus, that everything possible is being done to eliminate the problem.

“As a city staff, we appreciate the efforts of the DNR and the counties to stop the pollution which is currently occurring,” he said. “The city has committed itself to clean up the creek once the pollution has stopped.”