Saint Paul Wastewater Spill - 2023

Emergency Declaration Approved


August 30, 2023


An emergency declaration was approved by the Metropolitan Council on Aug. 8 to excavate, evaluate, and repair the damaged pipe section. Find updates on the repair project at SaintPaul-CrosbyFarmPark-805577.

Metropolitan Council responds to wastewater spill in Saint Paul


July 17, 2023

The Metropolitan Council, operator of the regional wastewater collection and treatment system, responded Monday, July 17, to a sewage spill southeast of the intersection of Shephard Road and Interstate 35E in Saint Paul, approximately a quarter mile from the Mississippi River.

Crews from the Metropolitan Council’s Environmental Services division determined a siphon that keeps wastewater flowing failed, causing the spill. Siphons are part of a wastewater collection system used to continue an interceptor sewer line beneath an obstruction. In this instance, the obstruction is the Mississippi River.

The crews rerouted wastewater flow to ensure uninterrupted service. They will clean up the spill area and hire contractors to aid in the cleanup. Repairs will be made to the faulty equipment once cleanup is complete.

Water resources staff collected bacteria samples from the Mississippi and determined the spill had not reached the river. They will monitor the shoreline near the spill and test the river again if the area experiences a substantial rain event. An unofficial walking trail near the spill site has been marked warning the public to avoid the spill site, due to the potential of pathogens, such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses, temporarily being present at the site. The Met Council will assess how long the site should be avoided.

A call from the Saint Paul Sewer Utility allowed the Met Council to provide a quick response. As with any spill, the Minnesota Duty Officer was notified.

An update will be provided when we know more about the extent of the spill.


Environmental Services