A massive amount of untreated sewage found its way into the Mississippi River Wednesday.
The spill, which happened at an MSD Treatment Plant in North St. Louis, released 3.5 million gallons of wastewater. Officials with the Metropolitan Sewer District say the plant suffered a power outage just after noon on Wednesday. Within two hours, officials say they restored power and operations resumed.
MSD says any spill is unacceptable, but they are confident there is a minimal risk to the health of people or the environment. The spill occurred in a part of the river not commonly used for recreation and drinking water suppliers commonly test for bacteria. An incident report has been filed with the Department of Natural Resources.
Drivers in downtown St. Louis could encounter problems at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson.
MSD says a 150-year-old section of sewer pipe collapsed. The pipe was 20 feet underground, but opened up a hole in the road. A spokesperson with MSD tells KTRS, drivers should expect two lanes of Westbound Washington to remain closed for at least a few days, but there is no estimate on when work will be completed.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has installed temporary pumps to help limit untreated sewage that's been seeping into the flooded Mississippi River since Sunday.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports all of the pumps are expected to be working by today.
Two pumps at the Bissell Point treatment plant failed Sunday, leading to the discharge of 105 million gallons of sewage daily into the river.
All lanes on Hanley Road, south of Manchester, are now open.
Lane restrictions of varying severity had been in effect on Hanley since Wednesday, when a Metropolitan Sewer District contractor began repairing a damaged storm sewer pipe that runs below Hanley. That work is now complete.
However, MSD’s contractor will return to the scene within the week to permanently restore any pavement uprooted by its repair project. (Temporary patches presently cover these excavated areas.)
The permanent restoration will require lane restrictions that will be announced later by MSD.
If your commute takes you near Hanley and Manchester Roads, you might want to try another way to get to your destination.
MSD crews are making emergency repairs to a major underground storm water sewer pipe that might have completely collapsed.
MSD says the 42-inch corrugated metal storm water sewer pipe runs under all lanes of Hanley Road. MSD says they first found out about it Tuesday when they got a report of a sinking roadway.
Each of Hanley's outside lanes are closed to traffic south of Manchester. Some 40,000 motorists travel on Hanley every day.