Sewage leak reported at Storm Lake

STORM LAKE — Some sewage leaked into the lake at Storm Lake recently, prompting state environmental officials to urge people to stay away from the northeast portion of that body of water this weekend.

A blockage at a pumping station allowed an undetermined amount of wastewater to escape, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The leak apparently started Wednesday morning and was discovered Thursday when city crews received a complaint about an odor coming from a storm sewer on the northeast side of the lake, the department reported.

The city crews found that the blockage enabled wastewater to back up into a storm sewer and eventually into the lake.

”When the city unblocked the sewer line, they removed a pile of rags, plastic and drinking straws hung up on a grate,” Tom Roos, a DNR inspector, said in a written statement. ”I’d like to remind people that they shouldn’t flush garbage down their toilets because it causes problems.”

An undetermined amount of wastewater was released between Wednesday morning and 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the DNR.