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Sewage from Hanksville flood sent into Fremont River

Hanksville flooding
Posted at 1:37 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 15:46:18-04

HANKSVILLE, Utah  — Sewage is being diverted into the Fremont River as a result of devastating flash flooding that hit this rural community.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality told FOX 13 that Hanksville has been allowed to pump sewage into the river because Wednesday night's flood has overwhelmed and filled wastewater lagoons. There remains concern that the lagoon embankments would fail and cause an uncontrolled discharge of sewage into the river, the agency said.

By allowing the diversion, the DEQ can control the release and give Hanksville city crews time to pump out the lagoon.

"We are advising the public to avoid the river or use of the river water until the controlled discharge is complete, which should be less than a week," the DEQ said.

The flooding has so far damaged 10 homes and a number of businesses in the Wayne County tourism town. No one was injured or killed, though agriculture producers are reporting livestock losses as a result of the flooding.