MSD works to stop raw sewage spill; 500 million gallons have entered river

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:52 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Raw sewage continues to flow into the Mississippi River from a Metro Sewer District plant in north St. Louis where two pumps failed on Sunday.

An estimated 500,000,000 gallons of sewage have flowed into the river, after two pumps failed at the Bissell Point sewage treatment plant.

MSD brought in temporary pumps and have cut the amount of sewage going into the river in half, but it may take several more days until the flow stops.

When the river is running high, pipes that discharge the treated water get blocked and sewage has to be pumped into the river.

When two pumps failed Sunday, more untreated sewage was coming in than the amount of treated water they could pump out so they had to let the raw sewage go straight into the Mississippi.

This nine temporary pumps increased the plant’s pumping capacity to about 200 million gallons per day, but MSD officials say this capacity is not enough.

“Where we need to get is 250 million gallons a day pumping capacity,” said MSD spokersperson Lance LeComb. “We have all the pumps we need to achieve that, we just need to get them hooked up and working with each other in the right way.”

MSD hopes to end the flow of raw sewage into the river by the end of the weekend, or the beginning of next week.

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