The city of Fort Dodge closed a wastewater pumping station near the Des Moines River due to severe flooding, resulting in a significant discharge of wastewater to the Des Moines River.
During normal conditions, this station pumps about 250,000 gallons of untreated wastewater to the treatment plant per day. The wet weather conditions create the potential for that number to raise as high as 2.5 million gallons bypassed per day. The city anticipates discharges will continue at least through Sunday, when the river is expected to crest.
Motors at the pump station had to be disconnected and raised to prevent damage from rising flood waters.
Fort Dodge is just one of many northwest and north central Iowa towns discharging wastewater because of the high volumes of wastewater coming in to the treatment plants. Discharging wastewater may be necessary to prevent basement backups or protect wastewater treatment facilities.
The DNR advises people to stay out of flood waters because of swiftly moving waters can be dangerous to people, recreators and vehicles. Also, flood waters may have elevated bacteria levels.
The DNR will continue to monitor the situation.
For more information contact Jeremy Klatt at 641- 424-4073 or Jeremy.Klatt@dnr.iowa.gov.