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Mountaire spills wastewater, says it did not affect nearby environment

Courtesy of Mountaire Farms

Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources says between 750,000 and 1 million gallons of partially treated wastewater was spilled at Mountaire’s chicken processing facility in Millsboro Wednesday morning and contained onsite.

Mountaire says the spill was caused by mechanical failure of a recently installed portion of the wastewater system meant to reduce nitrates in the water. None of the spilled water reached nearby Swan Creek, according to Mountaire’s statement.

“There’s always going to be that risk, and then there's that permitted level of pollution to the environment which currently for this facility is very high,” said Center for the Inland Bays Executive Director Chris Basin.

Basin puts the spill in the context of his claims that Mountaire is already polluting the environment on a regular basis by spraying treated wastewater onto nearby fields.

“Since November of 2017, when their wastewater treatment system failed, they have continued to apply wastewater that has effluents with levels, as we understand, are over their permitted limits,” he said.

Mountaire is currently involved in pending litigation with Millsboro residents stemming from the 2017 event that polluted area drinking water.

Mountaire says Wednesday’s spill caused no risk to employees, the public or the environment and cleanup efforts are expected to be completed Friday.

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