Raw Sewage Found On Lake in Wright County After Pipe Bursts

February 07, 2018 10:23 PM

A large pipe carrying raw sewage burst Tuesday outside of Maple Lake, causing the waste water to run onto the ice on nearby Ramsey Lake.

The pipe is monitored by the city of Annandale, located in Wright County. Public Works Director Joe Haller said the leak was discovered Tuesday afternoon, after a coupler on the pipe failed.


Crews shut down the pipe flow and used a septic pump to clean up part of the waste that escaped.

The incident is being investigated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A spokesperson said early estimates show that up to 10,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked before the problem was discovered.

Ron Edmonson lives on Ramsey Lake and said his family noticed a brown slush sitting on the ice Tuesday. Later in the day, his son drove past the leak and saw what he thought was water spraying from the side of the road.

"I had stopped there thinking I was going to take a water sample and I stuck my hand down in that water to capture it," Edmonson said. "Then I realized how warm it was and I could see floating toilet paper, and I thought 'I've got sewage.'"

Edmonson said the other hint was the odor from the lake.

"You go down there and you could smell it," Edmonson said. "My son said drilling ice holes down there you could notice, you could smell sewer in the water."

Edmonson also worries about the long-term impacts the leak could have.

"It's in the worst place you could possibly imagine, right in the road ditch, right by a creek, that runs right directly to the lake," Edmonson said. "If we start getting dead fish this spring, we'll know where it's coming from."

The city said it is working with MPCA to determine how to proceed.

Water samples were taken Wednesday morning from Ramsey Lake. The results should be ready by Friday, according to Haller.


Kirsten Swanson

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