A mysterious, foul-smelling, foaming liquid that until recently filled a drainage area near a Brookfield sugar factory didn’t come from the business, a company spokesman told the Landmark on Monday.
Meanwhile, an environmental engineer sent by the village’s engineering firm to the area just east of Sweetener Supply Corporation, 9501 Southview Ave., should have a report soon on just what the liquid, which has almost completely drained into the combined sewer system, comprised.
A commuter who passes the sugar manufacturer each day to reach the Congress Park train station, complained to the Landmark last week that in the past three to five weeks the liquid had pooled and was stagnating in the drainage areas. He suggested it was the result of tanker cars, which enter the sugar factory grounds via a spur rail line, being cleaned at the site.
But George Van Denend, vice president of operations for Sweetener Supply, said his company does not clean out rail cars but turns them over to the railroad after they are unloaded at the company.
“There’s little, if any, runoff from our property,” Van Denend said.
Brookfield Village Engineer Derek Treichel said an environmental engineering firm hired to test the liquid is expected to produce a report later this week. Treichel said he suspects it will be some sort of organic matter.
“It’s almost like it was fermenting out there,” said Treichel.
The reason the liquid was stagnating in large pools in the area immediately next to the sidewalk and in a drainage ditch alongside the spur line was that a sewer opening was plugged with rocks.
Van Denend confirmed that a village public works crew was onsite last Friday to clear the sewer line, which caused the liquid to drain off.
“We’ve had some heavy rains here recently; it hadn’t been draining for weeks,” said Van Denend.