(WICHITA, Kan.)—A leak at Wichita's Wastewater Treatment Plant makes the water in parts of the Arkansas river dangerous. Crews are working through the holiday to fix it, but so far their efforts have failed.
The advisory extends from the Lincoln Street bridge in Central Wichita to the Oklahoma state line.
"(Catching anything?) Well two of them got away," Valencia said. "I'm waiting for the third one."
But Valencia may not want to eat the fish he catches. This part of the river is under an advisory from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
A leak in a 72-inch line at the city's treatment plant is sending sewage into the river, causing bacteria levels to rise to unhealthy levels.
The leak was discovered Friday. Crews tried to plug the hole on Saturday, but failed. While the city continues to look for a plug for that broken pipe, crews did return to the plant on Monday to try to come up with an alternative plan to go around the leaking area.
That means bacteria levels in the Arkansas River will remain a problem. It shouldn't affect River Festival activities later this week, since most are north of the advisory area.
Avid fishermen, like Valencia, are concerned.
"A little bit, we will see what happens," Valencia said.
It is just not enough of a concern to stop fishing on his holiday.
The KDHE will continue testing the water around the plant for bacteria. Until levels improve, they say you should have no contact with the river water.