20 days, 10 pumps and 448 million gallons of sewage-contaminated water flushed into Mississippi

For 20 days beginning May 27, Bettendorf continuously ran 10 pumps along its riverfront to flush 448 million gallons of sewage-contaminated water into the Mississippi River.

The latest Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) "Event" was again the result of rain and flood water clogging the main sewer interceptor line to the Davenport Waste Water Treatment Plant.

To prevent the treatment plant was being inundated with the huge flows and avoid sewage back-ups to businesses and homes along the Bettendorf/Riverdale riverfront, gates to the main sewer line were closed May 27.

Then pumps moved the untreated sewage from Bettendorf's main riverfront sewer line to a storm water interceptor line that empties just downstream of Lock & Dam 15 in Davenport.

While much of the 448 million gallons pumped into the river was flood water and rain, virtually all of Bettendorf and Riverdale's sewage flows down to the riverfront interceptor and then to the treatment plant on Concord Street in Davenport.

Despite a multi-million dollar improvement to the Concord Street plant in recent years, infiltration from flood water and rainfall continues to plague the sewage system, jointly owned by Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park.

Work also has been under way to better seal sewage lines to keep flood and storm water out, but this year five SSO's events have resulted in 631 million gallons of the sewage and storm water mix being dumped in the river.

The Davenport plant has a daily treatment capacity of 55 million gallons, but infiltration from the flooding forced the plant to "bypass" secondary treatment by an average o f 14 million gallons per day.

CLICK HERE for the full SSO report to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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