City of Bloomington Utilities experiences sanitary sewer overflow at Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plant

Bloomington – On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) experienced a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) at the last sewer access point before the Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plant.

During the thunderstorms, the plant lost grid power and switched to generator power.

When grid power restarted, it caused the generator to surge and created a fire, which shut down the plant for an hour. An estimated 260,400 gallons of wastewater and stormwater overflowed in a field adjacent to N. Bottom Rd. As with all SSOs, wastewater staff reported to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and will work with that office to ensure clean-up meets all state regulations.

Individuals in the aforementioned area are advised to take precautions when coming into contact with untreated sewage that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Any individual who has come into direct contact with untreated sewage is advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

The Blucher Poole plant’s generator was already scheduled for maintenance on April 19th. This work will help prevent a similar mechanical failure in the future.

Although Bloomington has a separate stormwater system, the sanitary sewer systems can collect a certain amount of stormwater from infiltration. When wet weather conditions occur, capacity can be exceeded and wastewater may overflow.

Line blockages or mechanical failures may prevent the system from operating properly, also causing Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) to occur in the City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) infrastructure.

Any SSO in the public infrastructure violates federal and state rules and is reported by CBU. Data on overflows in Bloomington can be found on the City’s data site

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the City of Bloomington Utilities at 812-339-1444.