Saint Paul Wastewater Spill

Metropolitan Council responds to spill in Saint Paul

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.

Contractors located and repaired the original damaged pipe section, backfilled the excavation, and are in the process of removing groundwater dewatering equipment.

Internal inspection of the pipe conducted during the repair identified two additional holes in the pipe. Metropolitan Council Interceptor Services staff suspect additional pipe sections are at risk of failure. They are working on plans to install a liner inside the broken pipe, which will allow the pipe to return to service. The liner will be installed once Council approval is received and the contractor obtains materials. The work is anticipated to occur in late December or early January.

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.

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.

Contact us

Environmental Services
[email protected]