Environmental Concerns Raised After Mountain Dew Spill

Environmental Concerns Raised After Mountain Dew Spill

Nearly 7,200 gallons of Mountain Dew were spilled into a floor drain at a Michigan Pepsi bottling plant, seeping into the the facility’s internal sewer system when a tank ruptured last month. Now there are fears that the sugary soda could could have a toxic effect on aquatic life if it works its way into rivers, lakes, or streams. [1]

Natural Society
Source: Livingston Daily

According to officials with PepsiCo and Howell, the city where the plant is located, the spill created “a huge foaming event.”

Plant officials struggled for 2 days to treat the problem on their own, but the system became overwhelmed. The Pollution Emergency Alert System sent a message to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) when the mixture of syrup and waste water sent more than 50,000 gallons of sugary sewage flowing from the system.

Carla Davidson, an analyst with the DEQ, said:

“They could have chosen to isolate. They have an equalization basin; they knew there was a spill and could have tried to isolate it, then have that waste water hauled away to protect the integrity of their pretreatment system. That’s normally what we would recommend during a spill event like that.” [2]

Davidson said the majority of the spill was contained at the water detention basin at the plant, while a small amount went into a ditch behind Key Plastics. The fizzy mixture did not get into the public spill system, according to Howell City Manager Shea Charles. [1]

Davidson, who called the spill “highly unusual,” said:

“As far as impact to the environment, I think Pepsi is cleaning it up, and we’ll be working with them to prevent discharges like this from happening in the future. There was not a release to surface water that we know of, so that’s also a positive.” [3]

In a statement, Pepsi said that it prioritizes being “a good steward of the environment” and the communities it operates in.


[1] Fox News

[2] Newsmax

[3] Consumerist

Livingston Daily