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A road off Second Street near the DeWitt Spain Airport runs into floodwaters, with the Maynard Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant in the background. (David Royer)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — High water caused a pump failure at a wastewater treatment plant north of Mud Island, and Memphis will have to pump wastewater into the Mississippi River, city officials said Friday.

The backup has resulted in water partially flooding the General DeWitt Spain Airport property off Second Street.

A malfunction caused three pumps at the Maynard Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant, which sits at the Mississippi and Wolf Rivers, to become submerged, Public Works Director Robert Knecht said.

The city is installing one backup pump but it won’t be able to handle the volume alone because of the river level, Knecht said.

That means the city will have to dump what they can’t pump into the treatment plant into the Mississippi River, Knecht said. If they didn’t, there would be significant sewage backup effecting business and homes.

Memphis’ sewer fund is going to have to pay potentially millions of dollars to repair the damaged pumps, Knecht said.

The City of Memphis tweeted that the runway at nearby DeWitt Spain Airport is not closed, but could be if floodwaters cover it. Incoming aircraft are being asked to divert to other airports. Private planes were observed taking off there around noon.

The terminal building and common hangars are not expected to be affected by the flooding. Residential areas nearby are not affected.

— Photojournalist Matthew Brewer contributed.