Someone is disposing of placentas in a central Illinois sewage system and authorities want it to stop. Workers in Urbana on Thursday found a placenta in a filter that keeps large objects out of the sewage treatment plant — the third such find this year. So police have enlisted medical experts. “It was one of the weirdest calls I’ve ever received,” said Julie Pryde, who heads the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District
The unprecedented finds have officials wondering if a midwife or veterinarian, stressed by economic woes, has been avoiding the expense of paying for a medical waste disposal service.
Police aren’t aiming for an arrest, Seraphin said, and nobody suspects foul play. The umbilical cords, still attached, were cut clean.
Placentas are potentially infectious, although health officials said the risk to the public is low. They just want the dumping to stop and hope publicity will achieve that. They are keen on solving the mystery.
Storm sewers and toilets drain to the system, so those seem to be the likeliest routes, Pryde said, “but I don’t think my personal toilet at home would be able to flush a placenta.”