Mountain Dew spill has huge environmental impact

Mountain Dew spill has huge environmental impact

As much as 200 gallons of concentrated Mountain Dew syrup created a “huge foaming event” and generated environmental concerns after it went down the drain, literally, at the Pepsi bottling plant in Livingston last month.

Officials with PepsiCo and the city where the plant is located, Howell, said most of the Mountain Dew spill was contained after it created “a huge foaming event,” the Livingston Daily reported Monday.

Carla Davidson, an analyst with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, told the newspaper that the magnitude of the spill was “highly unusual.” The soda syrup could have a toxic effect on aquatic life if it got into rivers, lakes or streams.

I-70 west reopens after Mountain Dew spill
I-70 west reopens after Mountain Dew spill
Officials at the plant tried to treat the problem without any help for two days before the system became overwhelmed, the Livingston Daily reported. The DEQ received an alert from the Pollution Emergency Alert System when the syrup, mixed with waste water, sent more than 50,000 gallons of sugar-laced sewage flowing out of the system.

Davidson said the waste water was mostly contained at the water detention basin at the plant, while a small amount went into a ditch behind Key Plastics. Howell City Manager Shea Charles told the paper that did not get into the public spill system.

There are still questions that remain in the spills aftermath of the Mountain Dew spill , Davidson said. She said she wanted to know why the tank holding the syrup ruptured and if any other tank could face a similar issue.


Davidson added


“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.”

Jennifer Ryan, a New York-based PepsiCo spokesperson, issued this statement via email:

“Being good stewards of the environment and the communities in which we operate is one of our highest priorities. When this event occurred we immediately took action to mitigate the impact, and we continue to work collaboratively with our neighbors and local agencies to ensure that our clean-up efforts are in compliance with all applicable regulations and meet our company’s high environmental standards.”

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