MSD News and Alerts
Rising river levels have forced the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) to shut down its Watkins Creek pump station. The pump station is located in the 11-thousand block of Riverview Drive in Spanish Lake, just north of I-270. The station pumps 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 this is not possible and these stations are used to pump wastewater to treatment plants.
When the Mississippi River level reached 40 feet and flooded the surrounding area, the sewer system that the Watkins Creek station pumps from also flooded. At that point, the pumps were no longer able to function properly. Additionally, the same situation happened in the 1993 flood and caused an electrical fire. For these reasons, power was cut and the station was shut down.
MSD continues to closely monitor river levels. Once the Mississippi River drops below 40 feet, MSD personnel will evaluate any damage to the station. Absent significant damage, it is anticipated that normal operations will be able to resume almost immediately.
The Watkins Creek pump station handles approximately of 2.7 million gallons of wastewater per day, which is now discharging into the river. While the wastewater is heavily diluted with river water, area residents should avoid contact with flood waters in the area.
The issue was reported as required to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).