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Ashland: 7.1 million gallons of sewage overflows into Lake Superior

ASHLAND, WI -- Ashland city leaders are blaming heavy rain and snow melt for causing more than 7 million gallons of sewage to overflow into Lake Superior.

According to city leaders, the overflow occurred at the City of Ashland’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The overflow started on March 29, 2020 at approximately 6:30 p.m. and ended on March 31, 2020 before 7:20 a.m.

The total volume overflow is estimated to be 7,177,000 gallons.

"All necessary steps are being taken to limit any public health hazard or potentially harmful effects on the environment", city leaders shared in a press release.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has been notified.

Residents are being ask to avoid contact with any sanitary sewer overflow due to "the potential for exposure to disease-causing organisms."

According to a CBS 3 report from April 2019, officials said, at that point, more than 75 million gallons of sewage have spilled into Lake Superior since 2013.

Ashland city leaders told us in 2019 that the city's sewer system is outdated.

They have been looking for solutions, which included a smoke test in summer 2019.

City leaders said that test was to find spots where rainwater and other water sources could enter the sewer system, causing backups.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Briggs LeSavage

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