Press release: City of Bloomington Utilities Experiences Sanitary Sewer Overflow at Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plant

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Thursday: 


April 14, 2022

For more information, please contact:

Holly McLauchlin, Communications Manager, City of Bloomington Utilities

[email protected] or 812-349-3940

City of Bloomington Utilities Experiences Sanitary Sewer Overflow at Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plant

Bloomington, Ind– On  Wednesday, April 13, 2022, the City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU)  experienced a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) at the last sewer access point before the Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment  Plant. During the thunderstorms, the plant lost grid power and switched to generator power. When grid power restarted, it caused the generator to surge and created a fire, which shut down the plant for an hour. An estimated 260,400 gallons of wastewater and stormwater overflowed in a field adjacent to N Bottom Rd. As with all  SSOs, wastewater staff has reported to the Indiana Department of  Environmental Management and will work with that office to ensure clean-up meets all state regulations. Individuals in the aforementioned area are advised to take precautions when coming into contact with untreated sewage that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Any individual who has come into direct contact with untreated sewage is advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

The  Blucher Poole plant’s generator was already scheduled for maintenance on April 19th. This work will help prevent a similar mechanical failure in the future. Although Bloomington has a separate stormwater system, the sanitary sewer systems can collect a certain amount of stormwater from infiltration. When wet weather conditions occur, capacity can be exceeded and wastewater may overflow. Line blockages or mechanical failures may prevent the system from operating properly, also causing SSOs to occur in the  CBU infrastructure. These overflow events are called sanitary sewer overflows. Any SSO in the public infrastructure is in violation of federal and state rules and are reported by CBU. Data on overflows in Bloomington can be found on the City’s data site BClear

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the City of Bloomington Utilities at 812-339-1444.


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