Delaware state regulators say a poultry producer polluted the groundwater near its Millsboro-area processing plant and must supply bottled water to nearby residents whose wells may be contaminated.
The News Journal of Wilmington reports Mountaire Farms is facing fines and other sanctions because the groundwater may be contaminated with fecal coliform and high levels of nitrogen nitrate.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources says the contamination entered the groundwater through a state-permitted spray irrigation system that allows Mountaire to apply wastewater from its processing plant to nearby farmland. That wastewater, which contains both poultry and human waste, is supposed to be thoroughly treated.
Mountaire's executive vice president of business strategy and administration did not return the newspaper's requests for comment.
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Mountaire says it is the seventh-largest chicken producer in the U.S.