An incident at the Smithfield Foods wastewater treatment plant resulted in higher than allowed limits of ammonia, which were discharged into the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls.

In response, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) went to the banks of the river to collect and test the water, which will continue through Monday (August 20).  Observations by officials indicated no evidence of affected fish or aquatic life. An investigation has also been launched.

“At this point, it appears Smithfield Foods is responding appropriately to the situation,” said DENR Secretary Steve Pirner. “However, DENR will continue to monitor the situation as Smithfield works to bring the wastewater treatment facility back to normal operation.”

Smithfield Food, formerly known as Morrell's, is a pork production business that employees 3,500 employees in the Sioux Falls area. The company has its own wastewater treatment plant, which obtains samples to obtain and report any violations, which is what occurred on Friday. (August 17)

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