Iowa company stopped discharge of steep water into the Mississippi River

On Wednesday, March 8, Roquette — a leader in specialty food ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients in Keokuk, Iowa — suffered a partial failure of one of the steep water tanks at its plant in Keokuk, Iowa. Most of the material was contained within the building, but an estimated 500 to 1,000 gallons of steep water was discharged into the Mississippi River. Steep water softens corn to assist with the corn wet milling process.

Immediate action was taken to shut down all services to the building and remove the liquid material to Roquette’s waste water treatment plant.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) was informed as soon as it was confirmed that material may have entered the river. Roquette will continue to work with the IDNR in addressing this issue.

Committed to operating in a safe, sustainable manner, Roquette is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident and take the necessary actions to prevent reoccurrence. There were no injuries, and there are no expected environmental ramifications from the spill.

Roquette’s manufacturing facility in Keokuk, Iowa produces corn-based starches and syrups and polyols used in many food and beverage applications as well as in pharmaceuticals, paper products, cosmetics and agricultural goods.