MEMPHIS — Workers are making emergency repairs to a broken sewer line that’s spewing about 1 million gallons of wastewater per day into a Mississippi River tributary in Memphis, an official said Wednesday.
This is the third sewage spill in Memphis in the past three weeks.
The break in the 42-inch sewer line was discovered Sunday by a resident who was at the Loosahatchie River and confirmed Monday by a city inspector, Public Works Division Director Robert Knecht said at a news conference. Knecht said the pipe ruptured when nearby soil eroded and gave way after heavy rains.
Public drinking water is not affected, Knecht said. Officials are warning residents to avoid contact with the Loosahatchie, which flows into the Mississippi River. Crews are hoping to stop the leak within two days, Knecht said.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation officials were headed to the leak site Wednesday to take samples of the river for water-quality testing, department spokesman Kelly Brockman said.
A 96-inch pipe collapsed March 31, sending 50 million gallons of sewage per day into Cypress Creek and adjoining McKellar Lake, which also flows into the Mississippi River. The spill caused a major fish kill and led to high levels of E.coli in both bodies of water.