WLSSD experiencing high flows due to rapid snowmelt

Major snowmelt across the Northland is pushing drain and sewer systems to their brink. WLSSD is dealing with high flows of clear water coming into the plant, which is not meant to enter the sanitary sewer system.

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) says the increased water flow has already been diverting to storage basins in several locations, and that sewage overflows are a possibility. If clear water does enter the sanitary sewer system, it can inadvertently seep through the cracks, faulty connections, and improperly connected roof and foundation drains.

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WLSSD says peak flow to the wastewater treatment plant has exceeded 120 million gallons per day, compared to the average daily flow of 38 million gallons per day. They are reminding residents to ensure that discharges from sump pump and drains are always directed away from a home’s foundation. This lowers the likelihood of sewer overflows and pollution of the river and lake during spring thaws.

WLSSD says staff are working around the clock to support the collection system, and prevent any potential threats to public health and the environment.

Residents are asked to report any overflow from a manhole and avoid contact with any sewer overflow due to the potential for exposure to disease-causing organisms. Storm sewers and sanitary sewers may also lift and move manhole covers creating a dangerous fall hazards when the overflow ceases.

Contact the WLSSD at 722-3336 24-hours per day to report overflowing manholes or any open manhole.