Search Site   
Current News Stories
Some Kentucky dairies finding markets, but questions remain
Revised zoning order meant to cut bovine TB in Michigan
New lawsuits accuse many meat sellers of price-fixing
Senate measure seeking to rein in ‘security’ tariffs
FDA seeks safety feedback on lab-made animal protein
Worries about 2019 renewal of dicamba, with complaints
Tom Farms’ leader tapped as possible UN ambassador
At the bottom of soil health is carbon-based experiment fun
Motor vehicle collisions top in ag claims for Nationwide
Indiana report gauges road, bridge conditions
Unique hog loader saves time, energy, improves safety
   
News Articles
Search News  
   

Michigan village, distillery agree to work on wastewater problem

 

By STAN MADDUX

THREE OAKS, Mich. — Officials in a small agritourism community threatening to break up a distillery are shaking hands now with the whiskey maker.

Journeyman Distillery, under a June 13 agreement with the village of Three Oaks, has two weeks to make arrangements for hauling away its wastewater for treatment. If that’s accomplished, the distillery can operate for another 90 days.

Officials during that period will consider the possibility of upgrading the village treatment plant, which is not capable right now of adequately handling the powerful wastewater from the manufacture of spirits. Village Manager Mike Greene said upgrades might cost several million dollars, but the distillery – with its restaurant and events center – means too much to the local economy to not try to work things out.

Short-term options for the distillery include trucking its wastewater 20 miles or so to a community with a better-equipped treatment plant, he said.

Treatment plant upgrades is what Journeyman owner Bill Welter has pushed for since receiving a cease-and-desist order. Had he known the waste was going to be an issue, he said he would have looked elsewhere to set up his business prior to opening here in 2010.

Greene said the alcohol-smelling wastewater kills some of the bacteria-eating microorganisms used in the cleansing process, by reducing oxygen levels in holding tanks. The result has been treated water with bacteria counts above what’s allowed by the state when released into Deer Creek.

He said no fines have been issued yet and he hopes working toward a solution will help to avoid a penalty. “We will wait and see on that,” he added.

6/20/2018