A discharge of untreated wastewater into the Stillwater River was caused by a power outage and tornado damage to two Montgomery County sewer system lift stations, including this one shown in before and after photos provided by Montgomery County.

Tornado aftermath: Raw sewage still flowing into Stillwater River

Wastewater continues to flow directly into the Stillwater River due to the failure of two Montgomery County sewer system lift stations that lost power after being pummeled by a tornado Monday night.

Had the wastewater not been redirected into the river, the result would have been sewer backups in area homes and businesses resulting in more problems, said Brianna Wooten, the county’s communications director.

“Then you have an additional public health and sewer backup crisis on top of a water crisis or an outage crisis,” she said.

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Power crews were able to reach the lift stations Wednesday to remove downed lines. The county is currently clearing debris and will assess the structures.

The Ohio EPA was notified of the bypass.

Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County issued an advisory Tuesday to not enter the Stillwater River nor the Great Miami River downstream due to the increased health risks associated with coming into contact with wastewater. No one should fish in the rivers, either.

The suggestion is a precautionary measure, officials with Public Health Montgomery County said Tuesday night.

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There are increased health risks associated with coming into contact with wastewater.

Parasites, viruses and bacteria can cause a range of conditions including; diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe.

About a dozen County lift stations lost power, Wooten said. Six were being powered by backup generators and wastewater was moved through the others through additional pumps or trucking it to a wastewater treatment plant.

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