Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed January 6, 2010
Fort Madison Sewer Project Delayed
Fort Madison, IA – The Environmental Protection Agency has told several cities in Iowa that they must address sewer overflow issues. The list includes Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Burlington.
For the most part, the cities have a combined sanitary/storm-water sewer system. That type of system can fill up during heavy rain, leading to overflow reaching the Mississippi River.
One option for Fort Madison is to spend tens of millions of dollars to separate its combined system. City Manger Byron Smith says Fort Madison wants to try something less expensive.
Smith says Fort Madison wants to disinfect the overflow, thus lessening its environmental impact, before it reaches the river. A special building to house the disinfection equipment is being built in Riverview Park.
Smith says that project will not be completed in time to start the pilot project by March 1 because of the harsh winter weather. He says the E.P.A. is okay with the delay, as long as the work continues as soon as possible.
Smith says the equipment should be installed in the new building in Riverview Park by April. Fort Madison is borrowing about $1.4-million for the project.