Ooze at Cavel not a worry, says manager

Caption
Jim Tucker, general manager of Cavel International, a horse-slaughtering plant in DeKalb, said the frozen foam on top of this water holding tank Sunday is partially treated water and nothing to worry about. Chronicle photo CURTIS CLEGG

DeKALB - Dirty blobs overflowing from a water holding tank at the Cavel International horse-slaughtering plant are just a glitch in a new wastewater treatment system, the plant's manager said Monday. &#8220It does look kind of gross, but it isn't anything to worry about,” General Manager Jim Tucker said this morning. &#8220It looks a lot worse than it is.” Tucker said the plant was required by the DeKalb Sanitary District to put in a new system to handle the plant's wastewater. The new system was put into use more than a week ago. The plant at 108 Harvestore Drive has had to pay thousands of dollars in fines to the sanitary district over the last two years for violating the terms of its wastewater discharge permit because there has been too much &#8220animal residue” in the wastewater. Tucker said the new wastewater system was put in place to help with those problems. He said the foam frozen at top of the water holding tank is partially treated wastewater. The foam freezes when the temperature is below zero, but Tucker said the plant is working on a solution so the foam doesn't freeze. DeKalb Sanitary District Manager Mike Zima said Monday morning that he had not heard about the frozen substance. &#8220It sounds to me like they're having start-up difficulties,” Zima said. &#8220What we're likely to do is go out there and talk to Mr. Tucker and see what we can do to help.” Cavel is one of three horse-slaughtering plants in the United States, all of which are the subject of a nationwide push by equine rights activists to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Aracely Hernandez can be reached at ahernandez@daily-chronicle.com.

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