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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Minn. city awaits results after runoff flows into Lake Osakis

  • Heavy rain that moved through the Osakis area June 20-21 forced the release of rainwater runoff that had reportedly infiltrated the city’s sewer system.
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  • Heavy rain that moved through the Osakis area June 20-21 forced the release of rainwater runoff that had reportedly infiltrated the city’s sewer system.
    How much was released remains unknown, according to Osakis City Council member Kyle Kostrzewski.
    The majority of the rainwater inflow and infiltration occurred at the city’s main lift station, near the downtown boat access. The runoff was reportedly discharged from a pipe that runs north from the lift station to Lake Osakis.
    The runoff bypassed one of the treatment systems, Kostrzewski said, and water flowed out of a discharge pipe and into the lake.
    Kostrzewski said it was infiltration water, not straight sewage, that entered the lake.
    “It was an extreme weather event that led Public Works Director Kurt Haakinson to do everything in his power to keep the water service running so people had running water,” Kostrzewski said. “He got help to keep the town with water and with the best sewage system they could without electricity. As a result, measures were taken and tests are being done to make sure everything is safe and we’re waiting on results.
    “We don’t know anything about the impact at all so we can’t comment either way. That’s why we need to wait for results. We have no further information until we get the results,” he said.
    “This was an extreme weather event. People had sewage in their basements. There was no power for up to three days. With 5 to 8 inches of rain in a short period of time, a power outage, a generator going out, (Haakinson) did what he had to do.”
    The Sauk River Watershed District reportedly conducted tests at several locations in the lake last week and, according to Kostrzewski, results are expected this week.
    He said the city will prepare a news release with the test results.
    Everything was done in accordance with rules the city needed to follow, Kostrzewski said. That included contacting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which Haakinson reportedly did right away.
    Haakinson referred all questions to Kostrzewski.
    “Everything was done the best we could under the circumstances,” Kostrzewski said last week.
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