City of Knox, MPI, Working to Properly Treat Chemicals at Knox Wastewater Treatment Facility

Knox Wastewater Treatment Plant

Mayor Rick Chambers updated the Knox City Council members on the possible resumption of water discharge from the Indiana Fine Blanking (MPI) Plant in Knox into the City Wastewater Treatment Plant.

MPI has to treat the metals it produces so no rust will appear on the finished product. A soap is used in the water treatment to clean the metal. When it was discharged into the Knox Wastewater Treatment Plant, it was interfering with the plant’s equipment. According to Wastewater Superintendent, Kelly Clemons, the size of the plant and its equipment made it impossible to handle the discharge.

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Director, Charles Weaver, told WKVI that engineers from Territorial Engineering have been working on procedures to correct the problem, which would allow the resumption of discharge into the Knox system. Since March of 2010, MPI has incurred an expense of having to haul and discharge the water into other systems that will accept the material. The Economic Development Foundation is paying the engineering fee. Weaver said the Foundation wants to make sure the plant in Knox remains a viable site for the company that employs over 300 workers.

In a test, the City has allowed 900 gallons of the foam discharge to move through the system a day and according to Clemons, it seems to be acceptable because the additive introduced into the water is making the soap break down before moving through the City’s testing equipment. It was noted that this was only a test, and further evaluation will need to be done before MPI will be allowed to regularly discharge all of its cleaning water into the system.

City Council President, Ed Blue, urged all involved to move swiftly to correct the problem, saying nothing should impede MPI’s ability to remain in Knox. Weaver issued a thank you from his office to everyone working to solve this problem.

“Since the Starke County Economic Development Foundation began the idea of having its own testing done, I can’t enough for the cooperation, the attitudes, of ‘can do’ and ‘let’s get something done’ by the City,” stated Weaver. “The Mayor and everyone that is working at the City and the Treatment Plant, as well as all the folks at Indiana Fine Blanking, they’ve been superb to work with. Everybody wants to get this thing done right and everyone wants a good outcome for what we’re trying to get accomplished.”

Editor’s note:

In reference to the above reported story the word “solvent” was used in describing the MPI discharge. The word used should have been “soap.” As reported to WKVI earlier, all of what is being discharged is state permitted.
A correction has been made.

WKVI regrets any error in reporting of this story.

Ted Hayes, WKVI News Director.