MSD ready for forecast of possible heavy rain, melting snow

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District officials are cautiously optimistic that Friday’s rains will not lead to widespread problems.

However, Mother Nature will dictate what actually occurs — particularly if large volumes of rain fall over a short period of time, according to a news release. Regardless of what Mother Nature chooses to do, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, or MSD, is prepared, the release stated.

MSD has more than tripled the number of crews to 30 whose sole job is to clear inlets. The district is focusing on low-lying areas where it knows drainage accumulates during rainstorms and where the heavy snowfall may worsen the situation.

To be prepared after regular business hours, MSD is also tripling the number of crews on standby and available to report for duty, if needed.

Through a systematic and aggressive maintenance program, the MSD sewer system is well prepared to handle this volume of water, according to the release. However, the rain and snow melt must be able to make it to inlets. With more than 130,000 inlets to maintain and clean, it is impossible for MSD crews to ensure that each and every inlet is clear of snow, ice or other debris from this past week’s winter storm, the release stated.

Thus, MSD officials are asking residents to visually check inlets in their neighborhoods. If the opening of an inlet is covered by snow, ice or other debris, clear it away and ensure that water can flow into the structure. If an inlet is clogged and cannot be easily cleared, contact MSD’s 24-hour customer service number at (314) 768-6260 or email the district at

In addition, contact MSD if ponding or flooding is found on a street due to a blocked inlet during the rainfall.

While MSD cannot address ponding or flooding issues unrelated to its sewer system, calls for flooded streets and blocked inlets will be responded to as quickly as possible and on a priority basis, the release stated.

Understandably, given the amount of snow still on the ground, doing work around your home to prepare for the rain may be difficult — and, ideally, these and other drainage issues are best addressed during autumn cleanup, according to the release. However, if possible, a few actions around your home can go a long way to prevent property damage.

Tips are available on MSD’s website blog at