From the Friends of Saltwater State ParK:

The Midway Sewer District reported that there was a sanitary sewer overflow at 11th Avenue and 252nd Street in Des Moines on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 between 5:45 and 7:45 a.m. near the 252nd Street entrance to the North Rim Trail in Saltwater State Park.

An estimated 3,000 gallons of sewage overflowed from a manhole and into the storm sewer system, which carried it to McSorley Creek. The overflow was caused by heavy rains, which entered the system through leaky pipes and illegal sump pump and roof drain connections (called inflow and infiltration) combined with an undersized pipe at a creek crossing. These photos shows the location of the overflow.

On Dec. 22, signs were posted at the park warning visitors that the water was contaminated, and should not be entered. Samples were collected by sewer district personnel to be tested for bacteria contamination, and a report is expected soon. Volunteers for Friends of Saltwater State Park also collected samples for chemical and bacteria analysis, and results will be posted tomorrow.

The Midway Sewer District Manager reported that previously planned construction is in progress to replace the creek crossing pipe with a larger one, and an upgrade of the Sixteenth Avenue pump station is scheduled for next year. An inflow and infiltration prevention project is also in progress for a section of the system adjacent to the park on the south side. Sewer district officials believe this will permanently correct the problem of sewer overflows into the park.