EAST CHICAGO — The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will require the East Chicago Sanitary District to stop untreated wastewater discharge into the Grand Calumet River.

The EPA’s order, under the Clean Water Act, requires ECSD to stop discharges of untreated sewage into the Grand Calumet River by Oct. 11. ECSD must install bypass piping and repair the ruptured sewer pipe, which carries almost 80% of the system’s wastewater to the treatment plant.

According to the order, ECSD must increase communication with the public through a public service advisory previously issued about the combined sewer overflow. It must post results of daily sampling in the river online.

A semi-truck fell into a sinkhole Sept. 28 on Alder Street and caused a 42-inch sewage pipe to break. Raw sewage flooded the wastewater treatment site and temporarily blocked traffic on Indianapolis Boulevard.

Wastewater is flowing out of a combined sewer overflow point on the west side of Cline Avenue into the east branch of the Grand Calumet River at a rate of about 8 million gallons per day, according to the EPA.

The EPA said it is working Indiana Department of Environmental Management to monitor the issue. IDEM responded to the spill on the first day, and its wastewater treatment plant inspectors have been on-site each weekday since.

The EPA recommends avoiding the area until further notice.

Representatives from IDEM and East Chicago were not immediately available to comment.
© Copyright 2023, nwitimes.com, Munster, IN