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Citizens Energy Group issues raw sewage overflow warning

The logo for Citizens Energy Group. (Provided Photo/Citizens Energy Group)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Citizens Energy Group warns Indianapolis residents Sunday that as little as a quarter-inch of rain can overload the sewer system, causing a mix of raw sewage and rainwater to overflow into nearby streams.

According to a news release, Indianapolis’ combined sewer system is more than 100 years old and was designed to carry both raw sewage and rainwater in the same pipe.

Other circumstances can cause combined sewer overflows, including mechanical failures, blockages, hydrant flushing, and water main breaks. Citizens Energy Group has posted signs along Indianapolis streams to identify more than 130 combined sewer overflow points where contact with the water could be hazardous to your health.

Citizens Energy Group warns residents to avoid contact with the following waterways:

  • White River downstream from 56th Street
  • Fall Creek downstream from Keystone Avenue
  • Little Eagle Creek downstream from Michigan Street
  • Eagle Creek downstream from the confluence of Little Eagle Creek
  • Pogues Run downstream from 21st Street
  • Pleasant Run downstream from Kitley Avenue
  • State Ditch downstream from Southern Avenue
  • Bean Creek downstream from I-65

Swallowing or hand-to-mouth contact with contaminated water could make you sick. Always wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after contacting surface water in urban areas, including downstream of the combined sewer areas, especially before eating, drinking, or preparing food.