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Wastewater Discharge Flows to Saylorville Backwaters
Posted: 08/22/2013

POLK CITY – A pressurized sewer force main in Polk City sprang a leak Wednesday releasing an unknown amount of wastewater into the Polk City Wildlife Refuge.

The break occurred just west of 44th St. on NW 110th St. The break was reported about 7 p.m. when someone noticed liquid bubbling up through the 110th St. roadbed.

City officials shut off the main by 9 p.m. Now they are working to repair the breech. They think the discharge ran for about three hours. The untreated wastewater flowed into a road ditch and then to a backwater of Saylorville Lake north of the marina.

“It’s possible some of the wastewater made its way into the marina, but there is a barrier dam under Highway 415 where it crosses the backwaters greatly limiting flow into the lake,” said Bill Gibbons of the DNR’s Des Moines field office.

Gibbons added that the wastewater would have been very dilute since it entered the backwaters about a quarter mile north of the barrier.

The DNR cautions people to stay out of the backwaters for 24 to 48 hours. DNR staff will continue to monitor the situation.