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MSD takes advantage of low river levels to perform outfall clean-out

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Metropolitan Sewer District invited FOX 2 down to the riverfront to see work they have been doing to make sure pipes are clear for water pass through. Due to drought conditions, the Mississippi River is pretty low these days. That gives MSD a chance to get in and clear out the outfalls, discharge points which allow rainwater to pass out into the river.

MSD’s Sean Hadley says, “Crews are taking out silt and river mud and making sure pipes are free.”

Working in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MSD cleans out the pipes and then sends cameras down them to make sure no debris has been left behind.

“People don’t want to see streets flooding or their basements backing up. If the outfalls are not clear streets could flood and basements back up,” explains Hadley.

This is routine work for the sewer utility. Each of the 44 outfalls along the flood wall is cleaned every five years.

“We’ve been out here three weeks cleaning the outfalls. But now we are back to normal.”

Earlier this week, MSD received some calls from residents wondering if some kind of illegal dumping was going on. While nothing suspicious was going on, Hadley says it’s always good to call and make sure.

“With this incident, it’s routine. No illegal dumping. It’s routine maintenance down here at the outfalls. Clearing out silt and mud.”