With a large percentage of land paved over, St. Louis City and many other area municipalities have encountered problems with water runoff. In addition to the nuisance of standing water on streets, water runoff can cause health and environmental concerns.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, the City of Frontenac and the Missouri Botanical Garden are all looking to one solution to the problem - RainScaping.
MSD spokesman Lance LeComb says several hundred thousand gallons of sewage have spilled from the broken main. The total size of the spill won't be known until repairs are complete.
The actual repair work will being around midnight Wednesday, and is expected to take four to six hours. If the work cannot be completed tomorrow morning, crews will have to wait until midnight Thusday before resuming work.
The French utility company Veolia has decided not to go forward with a $250,000 contract that would have reviewed the operations of the city of St. Louis water department.
Opponents of the company had raised questions about Veolia's corporate behavior and environmental record.
Mary Ellen Ponder, the deputy chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay, announced the company's decision today at a committee hearing on a bill that would have stripped the funding for the contract from the budget for this year.
With the Mississippi River below 33 feet, MSD says it no longer has to use the pumps, and the flow of untreated wastewater into the river has stopped. The temporary pumps will remain in place.
Updated April 29, 4 p.m.
MSD officials say that with the Mississippi River dropping, the flow of untreated sewage has slowed to 16 million gallons a day. Crews continue to work on installing two temporary pumps to replace the ones that failed. The cause of the failure is still under investigation.
The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can charge for stormwater service based on how much water a property absorbs.
The decision extends a nearly four-year-old legal battle over the agency’s so-called "impervious fee." Two lower courts have ruled that it was not a fee at all, but a tax – and therefore had to be approved by voters under the Hancock Amednment.