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Flood Waters Hit Wastewater Plants and Two Drinking Water Sources in Northeast Iowa

MANCHESTER – DNR has received reports from six cities and a power plant in northeast Iowa that wastewater treatment plants are completely or partially covered with flood waters. Two more cities expect treatment plants to flood. 

Flood waters also impacted two small drinking water supplies: Cresco Iowa Country Club in Howard County and Jerico Jo’s in Chickasaw County.  

“Many other cities are likely discharging untreated or partially treated wastewater,” said Clark Ott of the DNR’s Manchester field office. “Aside from the obvious high water dangers, people should avoid contact with floodwaters because of potential contamination from wastewater, chemicals, petroleum products and other materials washed into the waters.

“While the high volume of water generally dilutes these substances, there’s some risk of contamination so people should wash thoroughly if they’ve been exposed,” he said.

DNR cautions anyone who suspects their private drinking water well has flooded to use an alternative water source for drinking, cooking and washing. Electrical shock and damage to the system are also possible, so people should contact a certified well contractor. Find more information at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Private-Well-Program for what to do when your well floods.

Find most of the flood damage along the Upper Iowa, Turkey and Wapsipinicon Rivers. Four DNR specialists are visiting these facilities Thursday to assess damages and offer assistance in bringing the following wastewater treatment systems back into normal operation:

  • Howard County: Chester (anticipated), Protivin on the Chickasaw/Howard line and Elma.
  • Winneshiek County: Decorah/Freeport and Fort Atkinson
  • Fayette County: Waucoma and Elgin (anticipated)
  • Allamakee County: Interstate Light and Power at Lansing

Howard/Mitchell County line: DNR is working with Riceville, but is not on site today

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