STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Storm Lake city workers have placed a sleeve on a city sewer pipe to stop a wastewater discharge into the lake.

The discharge had been going for a few days, until the repair was made Tuesday, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources release.

A first attempt to halt the leak didn't work after a temporary repair, "but Tuesday morning the city successfully fixed that leak and plugged the storm sewer line leading to the lake," the IDNR release said.

The department release said an engineer will evaluate the sewer line and make recommendations for a long-term fix. IDNR will continue to monitor progress and follow up with city officials, until repairs are final.

The city and IDNR recommend people avoid areas of thin ice and open water near King’s Pointe Resort, where wastewater began discharging Friday.

“The discharge will likely have a limited impact on water quality, although a local sag in dissolved oxygen could occur near the resort,” IDNR Supervisor Ken Hessenius said.

“Anglers can safely eat fish they’ve caught, but should rinse them to remove bacteria before cleaning.”

The break was first reported Monday, after a 24-inch sewer line break on Friday caused a major residential wastewater discharge.

Repair work on Friday apparently damaged the line, allowing untreated sewage to flow into a storm sewer that runs into Storm Lake. City staff on Monday morning discovered wastewater flowing under and over the ice near King's Pointe Resort.

Storm Lake city staff estimated up to 450 or 500 gallons per minute of residential wastewater was discharging into the lake.

There is no industrial wastewater discharge, only residential, according to the DNR.


County and education reporter

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