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Contact: Sean Hadley/314-502-4882
12 downtown buildings without hot water due to complications stemming from high river levels and Saturday night’s rainstorms
(June 2, 2019)— Rising river levels added to by Saturday night’s storm caused a Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) force main sewer at the foot of Carr Street in downtown St. Louis to fail in early morning hours of Sunday, June 2. Complications from this chain of events have led to a loss of hot water to twelve downtown buildings.
As the force main took on too much water the pump station located at Carr Street and Leonor K Sullivan in downtown St. Louis became ineffective and subsequently shut down. The force main failure has created standing water on Leonor K Sullivan from Carr Street north to Biddle Street.
This event contributed to flooding at Ashley Energy’s nearby steam plant, which generates both steam heat and electricity for several buildings in the downtown area.
This occurred around 4am Sunday morning. MSD is mobilizing additional pumps to relieve this situation, and anticipates having more pumping capacity in place by sunset today. These additional pumps will remain in place until the Mississippi River at St. Louis falls below flood stage.
Soon after the water began rushing in, employees of Ashley Energy were forced to shut down its plant. Upon discovering the failure of the MSD force main sewer, Ashley immediately mobilized its entire workforce overnight to secure the plant’s equipment and implement preventive measures to minimize the damage from the rising water to allow service to be restored to its customers as quickly as possible. Ashley is bringing portable equipment in from out of town, and its employees will be working around the clock to take interim steps to restore service until the plant is up and running again.
The pump station is located at the foot of Carr Street and pumps wastewater to the Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. A pump station is part of the sewer collection system. Normally, wastewater travels to treatment plants via sewers powered by simple gravity. In low elevation areas, like Carr Street and Leonor K Sullivan, this is not possible and these stations are used to pump wastewater to treatment plants.
The Carr Street pump station has 2 pumps that operate at 25 horsepower each. The station handles approximately of 8,500 gallons of wastewater and stormwater per minute in normal operations.
About the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)
Created in 1954, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) works every day to protect the public’s health and the natural environment through effective wastewater and stormwater management strategies.
MSD is responsible for the public sewer system that homes and businesses connect to through lateral lines. Through a labyrinth of connected sewers, wastewater is transported to one of seven sewer treatment plants – nearly 7,000 miles of sewers in all. That is the distance from St. Louis to New York City and back three times. Individual property owners are responsible for another important part of the system, the sewer lateral that connects a home’s plumbing to the public sewer in the street. For more information on MSD, visit stlmsd.com or follow us on Twitter @MSDProjectClear.
Click here for video of Carr Street situation: https://vimeo.com/339867729