DES MOINES - Two Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) digesters were discovered foaming at 6:40 a.m. today. The foaming was a result of staff manually directing the waste over to the digesters while the computerized system was down. An estimated 500 gallons of foam waste reached the Des Moines River before it was stopped.
Multiple measures were taken by WRA staff and contractors to contain and recover the waste from the grounds and river. Those efforts included sand bagging and plugging storm drains leading to the river, constructing earth dikes to contain the materials to the site, using vacuum trucks to recover the contained materials and applying lime to the affected area.
Downstream sampling was conducted. DNR staff observed the recovery efforts this morning and will return to the site to monitor progress of the recovery and cleanup.