After this year’s record-setting Mississippi River flooding, a study will soon be launched on how to best protect the Water Pollution Control Plant in Iowa’s third-largest city.
Nicole Gleason, Davenport’s Public Works director, says during the spring flood, the river at the Quad Cities rose to seven-point-seven feet over flood stage, or to a level of 22-point-seven feet — higher than ever before. Gleason says, “Because it’s never happened, we couldn’t say for sure, but with what we were seeing as far as flows into the plant and how the motors and things were all reacting, that’s where we felt somewhere between 24 and 25 would be our uh-oh moment.”
The plant serves Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park, with a total population of around 170-thousand. Gleason says an engineering firm will come up with a list of projects and their costs to help the city decide how to pay for them. “Having the plant operational impacts all citizens, not just the people directly in the flood plain,” Gleason says. “We believe there would be a good chance of receiving grant money ahead of some of the other projects that may happen long-term.”
The study will take about six months to complete and cost 110-thousand dollars. At one point during the flood, as the water rose to dangerously high levels, employees lived in the plant for about nine days, sleeping on cots and working 12-hour shifts.
(By Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island)