EVENING FLOOD UPDATE: Wastewater Plant sees UV system, pump damaged; undetermined amount of raw sewage goes into Cottonwood Featured

EVENING FLOOD UPDATE: Wastewater Plant sees UV system, pump damaged; undetermined amount of raw sewage goes into Cottonwood Chuck Samples/KVOE News

The scope of flood-related damage to Emporia city infrastructure is becoming more apparent, now several days after flooding officially ended in town.


Assistant City Manager Lane Massey tells KVOE News much of the Wastewater Treatment Plant complex was OK, but two notable components were damaged.

The ultraviolet system is key because that serves as a disinfectant. Damage to the sanitary sewer system, meanwhile, has largely stayed along the Cottonwood River. Massey says city staff will take a closer look at the underground sewer system and manholes over the next few business days.

Massey tells KVOE News the Wastewater Treatment Plant had to use its sewage bypass system, so some non-fully-treated wastewater went into the Cottonwood.

The extent of raw sewage in the Cottonwood -- amount and duration -- is unclear. The city is working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. An incident report is pending, including that information and the amount of work needed to get the city back to full compliance, if any. No boil water advisories have been issued downstream to this time.

The city announced $500,000 in damage to both aspects of the water treatment system as part of Lyon County's state of local disaster emergency declaration Monday. A final cost is pending but could come up or go down. A repair timetable is under development. The entire investigation and repair process could take up to a year.

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