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West St. Paul Lake Closed To Public After 70,000-Gallon Sewage Leak

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- The city of West St. Paul is asking visitors to avoid contact with the water at Thompson Lake following a 70,000-gallon sewage leak.

"I don't know how that could happen," Ron Waxon said.

He visited the lake Monday to go fishing but turned away after reading the signs closing the water to the public.

The city said a faulty valve, normally meant to let out air buildup, caused the sewage to spill into the lake. It was reported around 7 a.m., and within a few hours crews stopped the leak.

Thompson Lake
(credit: CBS)

"It's really gross and disgusting and I don't want the kids to go by the water," West St. Paul resident Kristine Lopez said.

Ross Beckwith, West St. Paul's public works director, said they are working with the state's department of health and pollution control to determine if water testing and mitigation methods are needed.

"It carries maybe 1.2 million gallons of sewage a day, so again this was a pretty small leak compared to what it could have been," Beckwith said.

Officials said the valve that failed was installed in 2018 and was within its lifespan. The manufacturer no longer makes the part, so they replaced it with the latest model.

It's unclear how long visitors will need to avoid the water. The city said it's unlikely the leak will impact surrounding areas and properties.


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