State: Kraft Heinz Water Demand Is 'Unsustainable' For Lowville

State: Kraft Heinz Water Demand Is 'Unsustainable' For Lowville

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Kraft Heinz in Lowville just started making string cheese and that's making for problems for the village's water supply.

7 News obtained a state Health Department document recently submitted to the village indicating, in a given day, Kraft can use up to almost half of Lowville's daily supply.

That's 800,000 gallons of water on a system that's rated to provide 1 and a half million gallons a day.

The document states one day back in July, Kraft used 1 million gallons in a 24-hour period. This doesn't necessarily mean it happens every day.

To compare before the expansion, Kraft used just around 500,000 gallons a day.

The state letter says, "This demand is unsustainable and disruptive to your community at large."

The document says if Kraft can't find a way to store water on-site, Lowville will need to find a way to limit Kraft's water use, like installing a flow-control valve.

Overall, the problem seems to be less how much water Kraft uses in a day and more how quickly the plant draws water - hundreds of thousands of gallons in a matter of a few hours.

"We need to stop the large surges on our system that happen within a very short period of time. We have the water to supply over a 24 hour period, not necessarily over a 6 hour period," said Mayor Donna Smith.

We reached out to Kraft. A spokesperson says Kraft is actively trying to find short and long term solutions to the water problem and the plant is abiding by the conserve water order where it can.  

As for the state's advice of building an on-site water storage tank, the Kraft spokesman said he had no additional comments.

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