Sewer line failure causes spill in Redwood Shores

A main sewer line failed causing a sewage spill that flooded the garages of several homes.

August 27, 2010 11:39:11 AM PDT
City crews were finally able to see the 14-inch thick pipeline that ruptured on Wednesday afternoon, after working all night digging into the buckled asphalt while pumping out water and sewage.

The repair to the broken pressurized pipe though is another story.

The workers found that the new couplings they were planning to use to replace the pipe did not fit. So, the city is now trying to find the right replacements.

Residents told ABC7 there has been no inconveniences, the toilets still flush and they have running water.

Sewage seeped into six garages that face the ruptured pipe. The city has hired a cleanup company to work on the garages once the pipe is repaired.

Officials still do not know how much sewage leaked into the adjacent lagoon. They say it could be an estimated 5,000 gallons but that number may change once they get an accurate accounting.

"We have a lot of swans and rays that I worry about being affected by it," Redwood Shores resident Shelby Miller said.

Redwood City also made automated calls to residents and posted signs along the beach in Redwood Shores asking them to not to go in the water. No swimming, boating or kayaking.

The ruptured pipeline is the largest of about two dozen so-called lift stations where sewage is pumped to a nearby treatment plant.

Much of Redwood Shores is below water level so its sewage needs to be pumped up to the plant through pressurized lines. Tanker trucks loaded the raw waste and transported them to the facility.

Marilyn Harang, acting director of the City's Public Works Dept., says she has no estimate of just how much has been taken by the tanker trucks, but she adds they will know when they get the bill from the company that's providing the trucks.

"We'll check the valves, make the sure the pressure is good and the pipe will hold and we dont have problems elsewhere down the line downstream," she said.