At approximately 5 a.m. on Sept. 8, a force main sewer break was reported to the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) in the area just west of where Cordovan Commons Parkway turns into Howard Bend Station Road in Chesterfield.
As a result of the break, raw sewage drained into a ditch leading into the Missouri River. While it is unknown how much sewage leaked from the force main, MSD indicated that there was no risk to public health or safety resulting from the break.
A force main sewer is a sewer line through which wastewater is propelled by the force of pump stations located along the path of the sewer. Pump stations are sometimes necessary to overcome gravity and allow for the transport of wastewater to area treatment plants. Force mains are made of cast iron and can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years, depending on the amount of flow the line handles and the corrosive properties of the wastewater.
The force main sewer in question was built in 1983 and a replacement is currently under design. Construction of the replacement force main is expected to start in 2016 at an estimated cost of $6.5 million.