Days of heavy rain left many water treatment plants overwhelmed and led to lots of bypasses of sewage. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins. Baskins says some of the rains were "unreal" such as the 10 inches in Emmetsburg.
Emmetsburg had bypassed nearly three-million gallons of wastewater by Monday after its system got overloaded. Baskins says the rain has diluted the bypasses, but he says you should still use caution.
Baskins says there’s a lot of bacteria in the water and you should be "extremely careful" about being in floodwater. He says some areas to really watch for are where there’s been an outflow from a manhole or pumping stations and the water has pooled up, leaving areas with significant levels of bacteria. All the rain also raises concerns for some drinking water sources.
Baskins says people with private wells want to be conscious of water pooling around the well head and if you have any concerns, he says you should contact your county board of health. Local officials can help you with testing the water. Baskins says the rain did lead to one fish kill from runoff.
Baskins says there was one fish kill southeast of Sioux Center Saturday where there was a lot of rain and "manure solids" in the water. Baskins says some 200 dead fish were found in that kill. Bypasses were reported by several counties and cities in northern and northeast Iowa.