More than 16-million gallons of untreated run off entered the Spokane River after a major May rainstorm, and that’s just the amount the city knows about.
According to our partners at The Spokesman-Review, in Spokane’s monthly report on the sewer and stormwater system to the Department of Ecology, several sensors were unreadable due to damage at locations where runoff flows directly into the river. The numbers from those sensors are likely higher than what is in the report.
Spokane’s spokesperson, Marlene Feist said the intensity of the rainfall and debris in street drains led to the overflows.
Others said the event shows the inadequacy of the system.
Spokane Riverkeeper, Jerry White Jr., said “Hopefully we haven’t built a freeway designed for last year’s traffic.”
According to The Spokesman-Review, the system was downsized based upon calculations published in 2013. The report shows total rainfall from 1993 and 2013.
Construction is being completed on the last two stormwater tanks in town, as well as improvements at the wastewater plant to help increase filtration. The tanks are scheduled to be completed Fall 2019 and the plant is scheduled to be completed in 2021.