MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - City leaders in Mt. Vernon, Illinois are working on a plan to repair what city leaders call a "significant collapse" of a sewer main.
According to a release from the city, a leaching of sewer runoff from the pipe has made its way into the south side of the L&N Reservoir. Fishing and swimming at the reservoir has been suspended as a precautionary measure.
"It's low risk," said Mt. Vernon City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel. "We believe it's leeching into the reservoir of raw sewer. So we are asking everybody to stay out of the reservoirs, not to do any fishing. There is not a lot of fishing to do here anyway, but we certainly want people to stay out of the water until we can assess what the risk might be."
The line that collapsed is one of the oldest in the system that dates back to the early 1900s. It's under the 20th Street rail crossing of the Evansville Western Rail Line.
Now, city leaders form Mt. Vernon are working with Evansville Western Railroad, Illinois EPA and the Jefferson County Health Department to come up with a solution.
Repairs to the broken line will likely take some time because of the location of the collapse. North 20th Street and Waterworks Road will be closed at the railroad crossing until further notice.
Samples are being taken from the area and tested to help evaluate the extent of the contamination and the necessary cleanup measures that will be performed, according to a city spokesperson.