When Oscar Mayer ceases operations in Madison, it will have an impact on the city’s water utility. Utility spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux said water use at Oscar Mayer’s Madison production facility has begun dropping ahead of the March closing of the plant.
Water use at the facility on Madison’s north side through August was down 24 percent, or 68.7 million gallons, from the same time period in 2014, which was last year the plant on the city’s north side was at full production.
The utility says it’s too soon to estimate the impact the revenue loss will have on other customers’ water rates. Without Oscar Mayer, Barrilleaux said overall revenue will drop 2.8%. Overall water use in the city is about 10 billion gallons a year of which Oscar Mayer uses about 400 million.
The utility also says expenses are up in the past year due to ongoing replacement of aging water mains.Oscar Mayer parent company Kraft-Heinz is expected to have the north side facility shut down in about six months. It had been operating in Madison for a century. The plant closing will cost the Madison area about 500 jobs. Oscar Mayer is shutting down or consolidating six plants to cut costs by $1.5 billion.