CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. (AP) — Officials at an eastern Indiana sewer district want an organic food company to stop releasing grease into its wastewater that has been blamed for ruining equipment.
Grease used in production at Really Cool Foods' facility has been clogging pumps and ruining sewage equipment at the sewage plant near Cambridge City for two years, said officials of Western Wayne Sewer District Board.
"They need a pre-treatment plant," district board President Terry Patterson told the Palladium-Item of Richmond. "The strength of their sewage, the grease and their cleaning products, makes it difficult to treat their sewage properly and it clogs the pumps."
Really Cool Foods, which opened its Cambridge City operations in late 2008, has about 200 employees making fresh and organic foods, with meals such as almond-crusted flounder and garlic rosemary roasted potatoes distributed through supermarket chains such as Giant, Kroger, Shop Rite and Stop & Shop.
Company representatives plan to attend the sewer district's board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation, spokesman Roger Harvey said.
"As part of our continued commitment to find an appropriate pretreatment solution, Really Cool Foods is currently working with a leading international food industry consultant to determine the best resolution to the wastewater issue," Harvey said in a statement.
The Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County paid for a study of the grease problem last year, which determined the company needs a pre-treatment facility. Construction of such a plant was estimated to cost between $2 million and $4 million.
Patterson said two large grease traps installed when the Really Cool Foods plant and distribution center was built aren't adequate.
Really Cool Foods has paid about $17,000 in surcharges to the sewer district for ruined equipment, with $35,000 in charges pending.