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Photo: KICD AM

Orleans Wastewater Discharge Follow Up

Orleans, IA (KICD)–Water samples taken near a wastewater discharge to Big Spirit Lake Wednesday show bacteria levels are at normal levels near the Orleans Beach 1400 feet away from the discharge.

Bryon Whiting, an environmental specialist at the DNR Spencer field office, tells KICD News the impact was very much localized.

Whiting added that DNR staff will take water samples again today and test results will be available tomorrow before noon. He suggested swimmers use caution for the next 24 hours, being careful not to ingest any water, to rinse off after swimming and to wash their hands before eating or drinking.

An Orleans resident discovered the wastewater discharge about 8 a.m. Wednesday on the southeast side of Big Spirit Lake.
The Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District inspected the area and found that about 21,000 gallons of untreated wastewater had discharged through a storm sewer and into the lake. The district stopped the discharge within an hour.

The DNR is taking water samples Thursday for testing and will continue to monitor the situation.