Sand from sandbags clogs sewage system in East Cape Girardeau

Sand from sandbags clogs sewage system

EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. (KFVS) - Leaders in East Cape Girardeau are urging residents to conserve water and their use of the sewage system.

“We’ve been pumping a lot of water out of our basements and they’re going into our sewer systems,” said Mike Smith, who lives in East Cape Girardeau and works for the Village of East Cape Girardeau.

The worst part, the sand from all the sandbags that comes in with the water.

“Now we have sand in our sewer systems, and we have blockages everywhere,” he said.

A crew started making holes in the sand to get the water flowing through the system again. But it’s not an easy or cheap fix.

“You have to remove that sand by hand," said Smith. “Eight years ago in 2011 it took us about eight days. It was over $20,000 last time we had it done, so now we’re looking $20,000 plus maybe.”

And with more people moving back to town as the water recedes, he said the issue keeps getting worse.

“It’s just putting more pressure on our sewer systems. We’re trying to get the water out, and they’re putting the water in," he said.

He wants people to cut back on water and sewer usage to help give the system some relief.

“I can’t stress that enough. Please be patient with us. We do not and we cannot get this water out of our systems fast. It’s a slow process," he said. “We’ve started today, and we’re gonna stay on it till we get 'er done.”

According to Smith, water is still covering some manholes in the area, so they’re starting with the ones crews can access.

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