St. Louis To Pay $4.7B For Sewer Upgrades

October 2011, Vol. 66 No. 10

The settlement resolves the claims brought by the federal government in a lawsuit filed in June 2007, alleging that on at least 7,000 occasions between 2001 and 2005, failures in MSD’s sewer system resulted in overflows of raw sewage into residential homes, yards, public parks, streets and playground areas.

Overflows pose a significant threat to public health and water quality because raw sewage can have high concentrations of bacteria from fecal contamination, as well as disease-causing pathogens and viruses. These overflows can occur in basements, backyards, city streets, and directly into stream and rivers. This settlement goes a long way in preventing these overflows.