Water Main Break Sends Sewage Into Bettendorf Homes - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Water Main Break Sends Sewage Into Bettendorf Homes


UPDATE: Boil Order is in effect until 11:59PM. City crews will be out at 10:00 AM to pick up curbside trash. Bettendorf crews will do maintenance checks on sewers, but the rest of the work will be completed by Iowa American Water.


The water is back on but the cleanup work drags on in a Bettendorf neighborhood flooded by sewage.

It was caused by a water main break around 11 Thursday morning at Woodland and Hillside roads.

Water from the broken pipe spilled into the city sewer system and found itself filling up basements.

Cleaning crew trucks lined the street with dumpsters already filling with debris in some driveways.

The mess varied from home to home, but for many living here, luck was not on their side.

"Got a call from my mom, she was here with our daughter and said that we had three feet of water in the basement," says Deanette Wilson. She got the phone call about her soggy basement around 12:15 Thursday. The sewage rose three feet before the water company got the flood under control. Wilson reacted immediately.

"To panic, and then I called my husband and he came home, and confirmed that it was bad," says Wilson.

Their basement stored lots of things. A toy room, the furnace room, the home's laundromat. All wrecked by brown water.

"If you were to ask my daughter it's a pink blanket, but it's just all the memories that we've accumulated throughout the years," says Wilson.

"I saw a lot of activity, a lot of trucks here, and I saw a couple of dumpsters in the yard and I thought this doesn't look good," says neighbor Dennis Kaalberg.

He's one of the lucky ones here. He installed a check valve to stop water backups in his basement after getting flooded last year. His neighbor across the street wasn't so lucky.

"Everything was floating, the furniture was floating, the furnace was fried, here computer was underwater, that's gone."

Five feet of water in the neighbor's basement destroyed irreplaceable memories.

"Her shelves with all of her pictures had gotten knocked over and all the childhood mementos were floating," says Kaalberg.

The city stunned by the mess moved quickly. Offering to reimburse owners for cleanup costs.

"This is just what I would call a freak situation, this hasn't happened in my 23 years of being city administrator to this degree," says Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn.

As the owners finish tallying the damage.

"I don't know the details of that yet, we have to take inventory of everything and go from there," says Wilson.

The city is also paying for these homeowners to stay at a hotel Thursday night.

Getting them out of their homes while the cleanup crews work on.

Bettendorf crews will be collecting sewage damaged items from the neighborhood throughout the weekend.

The city needs to test the sewer system before residents can use their toilets.

The neighborhood remains under a boil order until Friday night.

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