June flooding caused broken sewer line

Friday, December 20, 2019

QUIMBY - As a result of historic flooding of the Little Sioux River in Cherokee County in June, tens of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater flowed into the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa, resulting from a broken sewer line in Quimby.

Because of flooding, Quimby’s wastewater operator couldn’t even get near the area to address the problem, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said. The DNR estimates 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of untreated wastewater was going into the river every day.

“With floodwaters it’s hard to know whether it was erosion of the bank, if it was debris going downstream that caught it, pulled it apart,” a DNR spokesman said. “We simply won’t know until the city is able to determine what happened and what part of the pipe has broken.

The large amount of water recent rains brought to the river was beneficial as it served to dilute the wastewater and lessen the environmental impact and/or fish kill.

Quimby contracted with a manure hauler to stop the releases. The DNR said the hauler is pumping wastewater from the city’s lift station into a tanker and transporting it across the river into the city’s lagoon.

The DNR, said other options were considered to divert the wastewater, but hauling it seems to be the safest.

The options were either pump it and haul it, string a line, which would’ve been about two miles through a residential area across the bridge to the lagoons and pump it directly, or stringing a pipe across the top of the river and going to the lagoons," Roos said.

According to the DNR, wastewater will be hauled until the broken sewer line is fixed or replaced.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: