Gary Drew, citizen of Maquoketa, Iowa, and owner of the Bear Creek Lodge building addressed the Maquoketa City Council at their January 20th meeting to thank the city and their water and wastewater operators, Alliance Water Resources, for the help provided to avoid a sewage backup into his building.

Drew said he owns a private, wastewater lift station that is also used by a local restaurant across the parking lot from his building, and a malfunction caused the local restaurant to have to shut down early one night to avoid a backup.

Upon being made aware of the issue, Drew contacted the city operators. He knew it was not the city’s problem but did not know where else to start. Jeff Bodenhofer, the local manager and employee of Alliance Water Resources, was quick to help.

Bodenhofer utilized Alliance’s network to identify and contact someone who was able to come out that night and drain the tank. (A plumbing company that Drew contacted said they would not be able to schedule for three days).

Once the tank was empty, Bodenhofer took photos, checked all sensors and identified a broken pipe as the issue. Utilizing photos he took of the information plates, he was able to document all manufacturers and provided that to Drew in case there was ever a future problem. 

The pipe was repaired the following day, saving Drew’s building from sewage backup as well as keeping open the local restaurant, which would have had to otherwise close for an estimated three to four days. This quick response also eliminated the threat of an overflow reaching the nearby river.

Drew was extremely thankful to the City and said “It was my problem – not the City’s. But they went the extra mile to help me fix it. They take their job very seriously.”

Read more in the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press.