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Animal Fat Backs Up Into Basements Near Unilever Plant

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 3:24am

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A Hammond Sanitary District official says a greasy white substance backing up through basement drains into homes appears to be linked to operations at a Unilever soap factory.

Unilever and Hammond city officials haven't determined the cause of the Friday backup but the district's pretreatment coordinator, Jeff Massey, said during a public meeting Monday night that sewage apparently backed up after animal fat and coconut oil from the plant solidified and clogged sewer lines.

Unilever moved six families into hotels over the weekend and offered to relocate others affected by the backups Monday. The Times of Munster reported two more families asked to be moved.

Unilever plant manager Brad Tieke says the plant has suspended production until the cause is determined.

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