MADISON, WIS. – Approximately 20 gallons of butter entered a nearby canal through a storm sewer due to a fire at a dairy processing facility in Portage, Wis., the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shared.
The state’s DNR staff helped local government agencies and other entities clean up the butter spill following a Jan. 2 fire at an Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) facility.
The clean-up process, per Wisconsin DNR, involved absorbent booms used in the canal to contain the discharged material, which was then removed. The storm sewers also were cleared by the water that passed through them during firefighting efforts.
Per the Portage Fire Department, the fire began in a room at the plant in which butter was being stored “and as it was heated it began to flow throughout the structure.” The PFD said the fire caused “significant damage.” No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The state DNR staff involved with the cleanup reported that most of the butter that left the facility traveled through the sanitary sewer to a wastewater treatment plant, where that plant’s staff had to clear out butter.
Wisconsin DNR described the environmental impact of the event as minimal.