Floods cause sewage overflow at Springfield walking trail

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 4:58 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Those walking the Ward Branch Greenway Trail in Springfield say whenever there’s lots of rain, sewage overflow makes its way to the trail and nearby creek.

Monday, there was leftover toilet paper and a smell following last week’s rain flooding the sewage system. Those who walk the trail often say this happens often.

“Any time of the year that it floods the sewer drains, they’re going to overflow,” Danielle Braden’Moll, who walks this trail almost every day, says. “They’ve tried to prevent it. They’ve taken different measures to try to do that, but it just can’t be done.”

“Anything that you put in the toilet is going to come up, and it’s going spread on the trail, and it goes into the creek,” she says.

The trail is nearby to a pump station.

Springfield Assistant Director of Environmental Services Ron Petering says the pumps in the area have a tough job pumping sewage from the southside towards Farm Road FF and James River uphill. The city of Springfield has 29,000 manholes, and only less than one percent have these issues.

New development along the trail has those around the park wondering what will happen next.

“The number of people they are bringing into the community and putting right here next to the creek and James River is going to multiply significantly. And it’s just going to make this overflow problem even worse,” Braden’Moll says.

“We’re working on improving our system through reinvestment in it,” Petering says.

He says they are working on significant projects to fix it and are not concerned about the new development adding to the issue. Some of the repairs will likely be done before the development is completed.

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