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Davenport Tries to Prevent Future "Uh-Oh" Moments

Zach Wilson
One part of Davenport's wastewater treatment plant (file)

Following this year's record-setting flood, a study will soon begin on how to protect Davenport's Water Pollution Control Plant. An engineering firm has been hired to develop plans and cost estimates.

Credit submitted / City of Davenport, Iowa
City of Davenport, Iowa
Nicole Gleason, Davenport Public Works Director

The Director of Public Works, Nicole Gleason, says during the spring flood, the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities rose to 7.7 feet over flood stage, or a level of 22.7 feet. 

"Because it's never happened, we couldn't say for sure, but with what we were seeing as far as flows into the plant and how the motors and things were all reacting, that's where we felt somewhere between 24 and 25 feet would probably be our uh-oh moment."

The Water Pollution Control Plant serves Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale, and Panorama Park, with a total population around 170,000. 

Gleason says the engineering firm will come up with a list of projects, and their costs, and that will help the city decide how to pay for them. 

Credit Zach Wilson / WVIK News
One of the Davenport plant's clarifiers (file)

"Having the plant operational impacts all citizens, not just the people directly in the floodplain. We believe that would be a good chance of receiving grant money ahead of some of the other projects that may happen long-term." The study will take about six months, and cost 110,000 dollars. 

At one point during the flood, as the water rose to dangerously high levels, employees lived in the plant for about nine days, sleeping on cots, and working 12-hour shifts.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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