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Wastewater Discharges to Des Moines River Following Equipment Failure

Malfunctioning equipment at a pumping station led to a wastewater discharge to the Des Moines River on Monday.

The city of Des Moines estimates that 378,000 gallons of untreated wastewater discharged directly to the river from the Birdland pumping station Monday morning. Equipment at the station, located at 1800 Pennsylvania Ave., failed around 12:30 a.m. The failure also took the pumping station’s alarm system offline.

The city discovered the problem and repaired the equipment by 11:30 a.m. Monday. The city is also collecting water samples upstream and downstream of the discharge.

The discharge occurred downstream of the Des Moines Water Works’ drinking water intake. Both the Des Moines and Ottumwa Water Works were notified of the discharge.

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