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Timeline uncertain for Vermillion wastewater fix

todayJuly 1, 2024 2

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VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Flooding means wastewater in Vermillion is heading to a less-than-ideal destination.

Water right now that’s used for laundry, flushing a toilet, or sent down the drain in Vermillion will end up in the Vermillion River. Mayor Jon Cole has a couple requests for the community.

FEMA, state to assess submitted flood damage

“We want to make sure that residents limit their wastewater usage as much as possible,” Cole said. “Whether that means doing a little bit less laundry, doing a little less dishes, less showers, things of that nature.”

Cole says drinking tap water, however, is safe. Flooding has destroyed the three pipes which ran beneath the river, carrying wastewater to a treatment facility.

“Currently, the timeline of getting repaired is unknown,” Cole said. “We’re working with our state officials, state engineers, private engineers, everything like that, trying to figure out what we can do to fix it.”

What is clear is that for now, it’s best to stay out of the river.

“I would highly encourage people to not swim in the river or boat or definitely drink it, and not only because of the sewage, but just the safety factor of, with the rushing waters,” Cole said.

As of Monday afternoon, Cole estimates that it will cost $3 to $4 million to permanently fix the flood damage to wastewater pipes.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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