ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A multi-million dollar sewer project in Lake St. Louis several years in the making is on hold. Five on Your Side's Mike Rush reports on the grassroots effort that officials couldn't ignore.
People move to Lake St. Louis for many reasons: the fishing, the view. Thankfully, something not so visible is the about 8 miles of sewer line that run underneath the two lakes and service the community. They're about 45-years-old and while something needs to be done with them, not everybody agrees on what.
"You're too good to these ducks, that's all there is to it," joked Dan Oberle to his wife as she fed the ducks.
Waddling visitors are to be expected when you live on the lake, but the couple never expected to see sewage pumping stations dotting the landscape of the two lakes in Lake St. Louis.
The water district board approved 30 to be installed around the lakes and in backyards.
Christie Watson only found out about the plan when she saw signs in her neighborhood.
"Twenty, 35 people that I was able to get in touch with, no one knew about it," Watson said.
She and others worry about plummeting property values from the smell, the noise and the sight of the pumps.
"No matter how many bushes you put around it, it's going to be an eyesore, it's going to be ugly," she said of the pumps.
"There's not a problem yet. What we're trying to do is be proactive," said Rob Fischer with Public Water Supply District Two.
Fischer says the $28 million plan was designed to re-route sewage from the pipes under the lake to land-based pipes where they could be more easily accessed if there's a problem. But residents believe other options need to be considered.
Oberle said, "What we tried to do, a small, ragtag group of community rabble-rousers was to say folks you realize this is a pretty big deal with a lot of money at risk we need to know more so we started reaching out and tried to get people to pay attention."
They must have. After around 200 people showed up to a board meeting Wednesday.
"Our board has decided to stall this project for now and we will take a look at those different alternatives and our board will come up with a recommendation," said Fischer.
Board members are expected to address the issue in about a month at their next meeting. Until then, the project is stopped.