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Emergency Flood Response to Mother Nature's Fury in Cedar Rapids Iowa – Rapidly Restoring Sanitation in a Crisis Situation

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Unprecedented flooding of the Cedar River in June 2008 forced more than 25,000 people to evacuate as floodwaters inundated 400 city blocks including downtown, hundreds of business, and nearly 5,000 homes. Flooding had a devastating effect on the Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility inundating the south two-thirds of the site and filling lower levels of multiple buildings not otherwise flooded. Extensive damage completely disabled the facility.

With emergency recovery efforts described herein, and characterized by local media as “little short of heroic,” the Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility was returned to operation within three weeks and producing permitted effluent quality in just over three months, a fraction of the “up to a year” timeframe originally anticipated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Keywords: Emergency; Flood; Recovery; Wastewater Treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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