Three families who are suing Birds Eye Food in Fennville will have their day in court against the company in February. A federal judge in Kalamazoo has ruled there is enough evidence brought by the families that the food processor caused damage to their plumbing and brought down property values by using wastewater from their plant to irrigate nearby fields for roughly 30 years. There are high levels of iron, arsenic and sodium in the groundwater, which the plaintiffs argue is a direct result of the use of the wastewater. In 2011, Birds Eye Food paid to have neighboring properties hooked up to city water and in 2010 they agreed to build a wastewater treatment system. Before U.S. District Judge Paul Malony issued his ruling setting the trial date for February 25, 19 people were involved in the lawsuit alleging the groundwater made them sick and damaged their property.
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