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Cheese sludge overflows into stream in Sioux county

HULL – Sludge from a cheese processing plant in Hull overflowed a storage tank and flooded the Agropur wastewater treatment building before some of it ran to a nearby stream Tuesday morning.

Sludge, the semi-solids left after processing industrial wastewater at the plant, moved about three-eighths of a mile downstream, stopping about four miles upstream of the West Branch of the Floyd River.

Agropur estimates 2,100 gallons of sludge flowed into the stream before they were able to stop the flow. The company has crews working to clean the building, pump the sludge from the stream and land apply it to nearby fields. The cheese waste is high in organic matter.

The spill occurred after an alarm failed in the plant. However, the company’s quick action prevented sludge from reaching further downstream.

The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate enforcement action.

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