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Sewage Release Cited


Madison WI - June 27, 2008- Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) has closed all Lake Monona beaches until further notice.  An automobile accident in Monona this morning at 12:30 a.m. knocked out both electric power feeds to the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) pumping station on Bridge Road.  Power was not restored until 4:45 a.m.  Sewage backed up in the system and eventually overflowed into Squaw Bay and into the Yahara River at Bridge Road.  

MMSD officials believe that it is possible that quite a few basements in the area may have been affected, although there are no specific reports at this time. Actual volumes of the overflow will be determined within the next few days, but it is estimated that at least several thousand gallons were released.

Sewage contains high levels of pathogenic microorganisms and contact with this water may cause illness.  Therefore swimming in contaminated waters carries significant health risks. Swallowing water while swimming is unavoidable and it exposes the swimmer to a high risk of contacting gastro-intestinal illnesses.  The same kind of risk exists for wading, playing or diving in these waters.

The PHMDC laboratory carries out regular testing of all Madison beaches.  Updated information on the status of all beaches, including those that are now closed is available at

This sewage release could also impact the lakes downstream of Lake Monona, including Lake Waubesa and Lake Kegonsa.  



  • Jon W. Schellpfeffer (Madison Metro Sewage Dist), 222-1201 x 266