Work is underway in Waterloo to repair a broken wastewater pipe that's allowing an estimated 12,000 gallons of sewage to enter the Cedar River per day.

City officials said a leak was discovered in a main line from the Cattle Congress Lift Station near the West Conger Street bridge and the South Riverside Trail. The affected pipe runs approximately 18 feet beneath the river levee.

According to a press release, city staff is in the process of making temporary repairs to mitigate the situation and permanent repair work is under design. Construction is expected to begin as soon as the final plans are approved by the Army Corp of Engineers, which has oversight of the levee system.

“Repairing this leak is our top priority," Mayor Quentin Hart said. "We have already reassigned staff and began the engineering and planning process. While the depth of the pipe and its location under the river levy is problematic and requires coordination with Army Corp, we are confident we will resolve this situation quickly.”

As soon as the leak was discovered, city staff immediately reported the leak to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. City staff also contacted environmental engineers AECOM and the Army Corp of Engineers to begin taking corrective action, the press release said.

Signs have been posted near the lift station, warning of the danger. Barricades have also been placed around the affected area. Children and pets should be kept away from the area until repairs are complete.

Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media
Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media