The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a stream advisory for Cottonwood River and neighboring tributaries west of Highway 99 followig a large line break near S. Arundel Street Thursday.

“There’s a line that goes across a creek and the line is exposed where it goes across,” Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Scott Gumfory said. “When they did that, they had put concrete pilings to hold the bank on both sides of the creek. Over the years with the river coming up and down, it had eroded underneath the pipe and back on the bank side of it.”

Gumfory said the clay tile pipe failed under the weight of constant flooding events.

At this time, potential elevated bacteria and contaminants may be present in Cottonwood River and neighboring tributaries. Residents who live near or have activities near this stream near these locations, are being advised not to enter the stream or allow children or pets to enter the stream.

“It shouldn’t take long once the repairs are made,” Gumfory said. “The UV in the sunlight will kill the bacteria, too. It’ll take care of itself in a reasonably timely manner.”

Gumfory said city workers are already coming up with a solution.

“It sounds like maybe later [Thursday evening] they might have a temporary fix in it to get us by until we come up with a more permanent solution,” Gumfory said.

KDHE will rescind the advisory after the repairs are completed and water samples show no health risk and water contact has been deemed safe.

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