Human Waste Spill Closes Tontitown Road

TONTITOWN, AR -- A leak from a truck carrying feces caused a Tonititown road to close Monday morning.

"Over on the corner you could see like piles of it in the middle of the road where they still hadn't got to it and they were still cleaning it."

Rick Johnson, Deputy Director of Washington County Department Emergency Management, said they received a call Monday morning about some sort of spill on Klenc Road, just south of US Highway 412. It was initially believed to be a chicken waste spill, but officers who responded to the scene discovered it was human waste. Johnson said a truck heading from Huntsville to the landfill in Tontitown malfunctioned, spilling the fecal sludge,

"Something gave way like a tailgate and he spilled on about about two miles of the road... We found out it was human waste."

In a statement, the Tontitown Department of Public Safety said the City of Huntsville had contracted the truck, owned Jimmy Jones trucking from Berryville.

"The City of Huntsville has brought a pump truck, a vacuum truck out, and they are sucking the bulk of it up... If you drive through it, your vehicle's going to need a bath... It's human waste so we really don't want people exposed to it unless it's necessary," said Johnson.

There are no real health concerns, according to Johnson, and the smell itself should be enough to keep people inside. The stench of human waste welcomed home Klenc Road resident, Beth Huff.

"You smelled it like as soon as you hit the road, you could start smelling it and it stinks, it really does... I thought that they would have it cleaned up by the time I got home, but I guess not... We're used to there being a little bit of a smell because we live so close to the landfill, but this is definitely worse... I just hope that they get it all cause it's kind of gross."

The next step in the cleanup process is to apply lime to the roads. Unfortunately, it was raining Monday so that step was put on hold, but crews are hoping to complete that process by Tuesday morning.

"It helps dissipate the smell plus to treat that so that if there were any pathogens in it, it will help take care of those," said Johnson.

The cause of the spill is under investigation by the Arkansas Highway Police and the carrier being inspected. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management was contacted per protocol and sent a representative to aid in the clean-up effort and guidance there-in.

The city is advising folks to use caution if driving that area of Klenc Road, south of US Highway 412 and north of Kelly Avenue, because it could be slick for several days. As far as environmental concerns, Johnson said there is a creek about 280 feet away from the street but they do not think possible runoff will pose any problems.

"Don't worry. We'll get it taken care of."

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