Wastewater discharge stopped in Washington County

The city of Ainsworth in Washington County reported a wastewater discharge to DNR shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The discharge began about 6 p.m. Tuesday evening and ended about 10 a.m. Wednesday after a contractor unplugged paper and wipes from the sewer line. An estimated 1,000 gallons of untreated wastewater per hour flowed a few hundred feet into the North Branch of Long Creek during the discharge.

The DNR cautions residents to keep children and pets away from the creek and the area north of Railroad and First Streets in Ainsworth for the next 48 hours.

As a reminder, DNR urges all Iowans to flush only toilet paper and waste down toilets. Flushing other products, such as flushable wipes, baby wipes, paper towels and tissues, can block sewer pipes or filters at treatment plants. Blockages may result in sewage backups into homes or discharges to streams and the environment.

Wastewater discharges must be reported to DNR within 24 hours.