Despite interceptor work, high water and heavy rain result in Bettendorf dumping raw sewage into river

Despite $2 million in storm sewer interceptor work, high water and heavy rains are again forcing Bettendorf to dump raw sewage into the Mississippi River.

Here's an unpleasant thought for Bettendorf and Riverdale residents: most of the sewage you're flushing down the toilet is currently being pumped into the river.

That's because the recent heavy rains and high water on the Mississippi have infiltrated Bettendorf and Davenport sewage systems, creating flows greater than the Davenport Sewage Treatment Plant can handle.

With back-up of the main sewage line along the riverfront, pumps are now operating along the Bettendorf riverfront to transfer the sewage from the riverfront interceptor line into storm water pipes that empty into the river.

This most recent "bypassing" of sewage treatment comes despite a $2 million project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean out and repair its large interceptor line along the Davenport riverfront.

That interceptor line is not part of the two cities' sewer system, but it was thought that clogging of the line was contributing to the infiltration of storm water runoff into the riverfront interceptor sewer line.

Heavy rains like the area has experienced during the past week have caused similar sewage bypasses for years.

Bettendorf and Riverdale are part-owners of the Davenport sewage treatment plant along Concord Street, and all three cities signed a consent order with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to repair infiltration problems with their sewer systems and eventually expand the capacity of the Davenport treatment facility.

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