Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Millions of Gallons of Sewage Dumped into Kansas River after Power Failure

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Millions of Gallons of Sewage Dumped into Kansas River after Power Failure

Article excerpt

About 3 million gallons of raw sewage discharged into the Kansas River between Friday and Sunday after a power failure at a city of Topeka pump station, city officials said Monday.

The city was investigating the circumstances involved, including why an "uninterrupted power supply" -- which is essentially a backup generator -- failed to work.

Aly Van Dyke, the city's media relations director, said in a news release the leak began about 1 p.m. Friday when the city's South Kansas River pump station at 2400 N.W. Waterworks Drive experienced a power outage.

The backup generator also failed to work, causing issues with the city's supervisory control and data acquisition system, which communicates with the pump stations and allows for remote monitoring, Van Dyke said. The river flows downstream eastward from that location.

She said sewage entered the river until about noon Sunday, when an operator employed by the city noticed unusually low flows at the North Topeka Waste Water Treatment Plant. …

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