Sewage drains into Cedar River in Waterloo

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – A leaky sewer pipe is causing big headaches for city officials in Waterloo.

Raw sewage drains into the Cedar River every few minutes, carried down by the slope of the levee near the Conger Street bridge.

“The leak is about 18 feet underneath the levee,” said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart.

The murky water draining into the river is the result of a 50-year-old sewer pipe in Waterloo, cracking under the pressure of this levee along the cedar river.

“You aren’t seeing toilet paper, you’re not seeing any other floatables or any other unpleasant items. It’s just dirty water,” said City Engineer Jamie Knutson.

Along a popular trail, the city has blocked off the area of the leak with signs warning that this trickle isn’t safe.

“It’s just a matter of being smart, you wouldn’t go play in your toilet, so don’t be doing something like that here,” said Knutson.

Knutson says to fix the problem, first, they’ll send out bids for temporary repairs.

“There’s no amount of costs that’s more important than alleviating this situation right now.”

Mayor Quentin Hart, who’s running for reelection on a platform of fixing the city’s aging infrastructure, says he understands how paying for problems like this can upset the taxpayer.

“Elevated costs, that’s not popular to the community, but these are necessary things that we have to do to ensure our long-range safety and vitality as a community,” said Hart.

The cost isn’t known just yet. The city expects bids to be returned by Tuesday the 21st and will hopefully place temporary measures a week after.

The leak is putting about 12,000 gallons into the river every day.

Taylor Vessel

Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter
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