Heavy rains prompt additional sewage overflows; sewage treatment plant once again over capacity

Heavy rain in November and December prompted yet another series of "sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) events" in Bettendorf, resulting in more than 17 million gallons of untreated sewage and storm water being pumped into the Mississippi River.

With the additional sewage bypasses in the last two months of the year, Bettendorf operated pumps along the riverfront a total of 15 days during 2015 and dumped a total of more than 46 million gallons of the storm water and raw sewage into the river.

As storm water infiltrates sewer lines in Davenport and Bettendorf, the Davenport Sewage Treatment Plant (part owned by Bettendorf) is unable to treat the high flows. The cities shut off sewer lines to the treatment plant, prompting the pumping along the riverfront to prevent the back up of raw sewage into riverfront homes and businesses.

The two cities agreed to a consent order with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in 2012 to begin making improvements to their sewer systems to reduce infiltration of storm water runoff and improve the capacity and effectiveness of the sewage treatment plant, located along Concord Street in Davenport.

The unusual rains in late 2015 prompted so many SSO events in various communities in Iowa that the IDNR issued a news release warning people to avoid activities near the numerous rivers and streams where such overflows were occurring.

CLICK HERE to download the Bettendorf SSO Event report.

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