ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is now able to capture and treat wastewater at the Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant now that the Mississippi River has fallen below flood stage.
When the river is above the 33 feet flood stage, the plant's main pipe, which uses gravity to pump, can no longer treat water, and the water is instead pumped into the river.
Officials say around 105 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Mississippi River each day, but the 4.5 billion gallons of water that come down the river each day quickly diluted the sewage and did not cause a public health or safety risk.
All three pumps at the plant failed Sunday, April 21. They had been tested before that day in preparation of excessive rain in the area, and all three were found to be working without problems. The cause of the failure is under investigation.
Temporary pumps were installed, and will remain in place until the permanent pumps are repaired.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been notified of the pump failures and discharge of the wastewater.