U.S. Water News Online
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -- A common food industry preservative
being found in the wastewater from the maker of Ice Mountain bottled
water is causing problems with the treatment of municipal wastewater
discharged into the Muskegon River.
The preservative, potassium sorbate, is found in the wastewater
from the Ice Mountain water bottling facility in Stanwood and is
turning up at the treatment plant in Big Rapids.
The chemical is interfering with the plant's ultraviolet
disinfection system, bouncing the UV light back toward the lamps and
limiting its ability to pass through the water to kill bacteria
before being discharged, city engineer Don Greiner said.
Potassium sorbate is an ingredient in the Splash line of flavored
waters from Nestle Waters North America, a branch of
Switzerland-based Nestle SA, said Ice Mountain spokeswoman Deb
Muchmore. She said the company was working with Big Rapids officials
to find a solution.
The problem was discovered in October, when the wastewater plant
had a one-week violation of the maximum amount of fecal coliform
bacteria released into the river.
Nestle now bottles about 172 million gallons of spring water
annually in Stanwood. It has proposed drawing 216,000 gallons of
water per day from a well in Osceola County and says it also is
considering a site in Newaygo County that is the headwaters of the
White and Pere Marquette rivers.
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