E. Coli Warning: Untreated Sewage Being Released into West Metro Lakes

Updated: 06/02/2014 7:38 AM KSTP.com By: Megan Stewart

A storm drain
A storm drain
Photo: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The city of Mound is releasing untreated sewage to prevent wastewater from backing up into homes.

Rain over the weekend has overwhelmed the city's sanitary sewer system and forced the city to release sewage, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Spokesman Sam Brungardt said.

Crews began releasing wastewater around 10:30 a.m. Sunday at four sites near Lake Minnetonka, one site near Lake Langdon, and another site near Dutch Lake, Brungardt said. The crews have been loading up the wastewater in trucks to bypass some of the overwhelmed stations. The sewage then goes to the wastewater treatment facility near Shakopee.

Crews say they are moving about 10,000 gallons of sewage an hour.

Even though the wastewater will be diluted, it will eventually make its way into those lakes and increase the chance of illness from E. coli bacteria, Brungardt said. People are advised to stay out of those lakes so they do not swallow the lake water.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, E. coli can cause stomach illnesses, such as diarrhea, nausea and jaundice. Young children are usually more susceptible, MDH 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 at Cottonwood and Lynwood. And on Dutch Lake, it’s the Grandview boat launch.