City & County

Glenwood resident finds source of Caddo River e-coli leak in strangest dam place

The Caddo River near Glenwood, Arkansas. | Shutterstock

After several weeks of searching, a Glenwood, Arkansas, resident helped city officials find the source of an e-coli leak that had leached into the Caddo River

By JOE MAY | The Southern Standard

GLENWOOD, Arkansas — City officials had publicly sparred with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality after that agency said the city’s sewer pond was leaking e-coli bacteria into the nearby river.

Subsequent work at the pond, including draining it, revealed no leak and left water department officials puzzled as to the source of the contamination, which seemed to only show up after heavy rain.

“This [source] was 900 feet from where we stopped looking.”

— Glenwood Mayor Billy Plyler

Mayor Billy Plyler told the newspaper that a Clay Street resident noticed a manhole that was leaking sewage onto the ground recently and notified officials, who arrived and unstopped blockage in about 30 minutes.

Plyler said the problem stemmed from the fact a resident had built a log dam on a creek running through the area and was pumping the water to his garden. With heavy rains, the contaminated water was making its way over the dam, down the creek and into the river.

Plyler said city officials removed the homemade dam. He urged residents who notice leaking manholes to contact City Hall so the problem can be resolved.

“This was 900 feet from where we stopped looking,” the mayor said of the leak.