Riverkeeper says Mulberry Fork still not safe despite Tyson Foods’ statement


(BIRMINGHAM, Ala. WIAT) — The Black Warrior Riverkeeper says Tyson foods should not have told residents the Mulberry Fork water was safe after a massive wastewater spill.  

The Riverkeeper tells us he did his own testing and concludes the water isn’t safe yet. The Riverkeeper still hasn’t gotten an official report stating how much wastewater was spilled or what was in the wastewater. Without that information, it’s a lot harder to assess the situation. 

The Riverkeeper tells CBS 42’s Malique Rankin he’ll be meeting with Tyson representatives to discuss the spill tomorrow. 

“We want to know exactly how much was spilled, what exactly was it that was spilled, how long did the spill occur for, and what testing has been done in the receiving stream, in the Mulberry Fork,” said Nelson Brooke, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper.

Wednesday, Tyson Foods released a statement saying the water was safe for recreation. Riverkeeper Nelson Brooke says residents should still stay clear. 

“The water was not safe at all for people to come into contact with. The e. Coli bacteria level was twice the state maximum allowed number,” Brooke said.

Residents say they’re sick of the company’s lack of transparency. 

“They need to also us to know what it is they’re dumping in that river so that we can protect ourselves,” Sherrie Saunder, a Cullman County resident said.

“Extreme frustration that corporate America and entities such as this are not being held to strict standards,” Nick Lewis, a Cullman County resident said.

The Riverkeeper says it could be a while before they fully know the damage done. 

“State regulatory investigations take weeks, and sometimes months to actually release their findings to the public,” Nelson said.

CBS 42 reached out to River Valley Ingredients earlier today for a response to their claim the Mulberry Fork water was safe. They have not returned our call. 

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