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Perham dairy fined for waste water pollution

Bongards' Creameries in Perham has paid a $79,069 penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and taken corrective actions following an investigation into a complaint related to spray-irrigation of facility waste water in 2011, according to a MPCA press release sent to the Pioneer Journal.

The release added that in March 2011, an inspection by MPCA staff substantiated a complaint the facility was spray-irrigating waste water at sites covered with snow in violation of its permit. The inspection also found levels of waste water within the facility's waste water lagoons that were excessive - near the top of the lagoon dikes.

During subsequent visits to the facility and meetings with facility staff, the MPCA learned waste water from three different sources had been discharged with cooling water from the facility to Perham's storm sewer system. The facility's permit allows cooling water to be discharged to the storm sewer, but not the other three types.

In addition to paying the fine, the company has completed several corrective actions to prevent excessive buildup of waste water in its treatment ponds and ensure that all sources of waste water from the facility are treated according to permit requirements.