MOUND, Minn. - Weekend rains have overwhelmed the city of Mound's sanitary sewer system, forcing the release on untreated sewage onto land.
City officials said they took to the step to keep wastewater from backing up into the basements of an estimated 1,000 homes.
Mound received permission from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to bypass untreated sewage until the Metropolitan Council's wastewater collection system can accept the large volume of wastewater that's being sent to it.
About 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the city began releasing the untreated wastewater onto land at four sites near Lake Minnetonka, one site near Lake Langdon, and one site near Dutch Lake. City manager Kandis Hanson said the water release will continue until midnight.
"The rain just came down too fast. Our systems our outdated and were not able to keep up with it," Hanson said.
The locations near Lake Minnetonka are the lagoon at Emerald Road and Channel Lane, Beachside outfall at Shorewood, the Avalon Park outfall at Bartlett Boulevard; and Lynwood at Morton Channel. On Lake Langdon it's Cottonwood and Lynwood. And on Dutch Lake it's the Grandview boat launch.
The bypassed wastewater will eventually make its way to those lakes. Even though the untreated sewage will be greatly diluted, it will increase the lakes' load of E. coli bacteria, which can cause illness, officials said.