Officials in the Santa-Fernwood Sewer and Water District report that wastewater from Fernwood's collection system began to enter the St. Maries River at 5:30 this morning.
They do not foresee a public health threat at this time.
The combination of overnight rain, wind, and warm temperatures caused snow to melt rapidly, affecting weak areas of the collection system, allowing stormwater to enter, overwhelming the pump station along the river.
"This wastewater was extremely diluted by the storm water. The river is at near flood stage and will also provide tremendous dilution. The river temperatures is 32 degrees and not used for contact recreation," reported the district in a press release sent out Wednesday afternoon. "The district is in the process of addressing this problem. A facility plan has been completed and construction projects are being planned."