City of Wichita officials on Thursday announced they have identified a permanent solution to the leaking valve at the primary Sewage Treatment Plant, located at 2305 E. 57th Street in south Wichita. The repair work, scheduled to be completed on Friday, includes construction of a concrete plug in the chamber that leads to the leaking valve.
The repair work will eliminate the line from which elevated levels of bacteria traveled into the Arkansas River. The latest repair work follows a temporary repair that was partially successful in stopping the flow of partially treated wastewater into the river.
Also, state and local officials continue to sample water quality and the effectiveness of the repair work and, also on Thursday, Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) officials announced that the boundaries of an earlier public health advisory have changed. The advisory warns that there should be no human contact with the river in the area spanning 47th Street South to the Oklahoma state line. Pets and livestock should also be kept away. Media and residents should contact KDHE with inquiries about the advisory.
The affected portion of the Arkansas River is south and downstream of Wichita's Riverfest activities, which begin on Friday. During the Riverfest, river caution flags will be posted to alert attendees. Blue flags indicate no restrictions, green flags indicate that boating is allowed but that no water should be ingested, and orange flags restrict contact with the river.
City Public Works & Utilities officials will provide an update on Friday morning during the daily 10 a.m. Public Safety Briefing.