Approximately 9,000 gallons of sewage sludge was accidently directed to the Des Moines River from the Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) at Vandalia Road Wednesday morning.
A contractor helping the WRA upgrade their digesters, accidently directed sewage sludge that was being “dewatered” from the number three digester to a manhole that was thought to have led back to the head works of the treatment facility. Instead the sewage was piped to the Des Moines River.
The pump was rated at 200 gallons per minute and ran for an estimated 45 minutes. The sewage sludge entered the river downstream of any water intakes. The volume of water in the river is expected to dilute the release of sludge. Down river users have been notified.
The DNR will conduct an on-site investigation to determine the impact to the Des Moines River.
For more information contact Dave Perry at 515-250-1798 (cell) or David.Perry@dnr.iowa.gov.