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Funky smell blamed on sewage

Christina Nelson

A sewage spill left a portion of town smelling a little funky on Aug. 6.

Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a sewer main on Deerfield Drive near the Boulders condominium project.

“There was a lot, but they were able to capture all but two or three hundred gallons,” said Janet Mann, an environmental health specialist.

While digging a trench, Cruz Excavating hit the clay pipe with a backhoe, a report from the Department of Environmental Health said.

The spill was mostly contained within the ditch, and most of it was sucked back into the exposed pipe, Mann said.

John Longo, manager of Cruz Excavating, said the company checked with the town to get the location of the sewer line. But the pipe was eight feet from where it should have been.

He said that occasionally a pipe is mismarked, which can cause accidents such as this one.

Fortunately the spill didn’t cause much of a problem.

“All the agencies jumped right in there and took care of everything,” Longo said.

The Truckee Sanitary District rerouted the line and repaired the broken pipe within an hour.

The 200 to 300 gallons that remained in the ground were taken to sanitary district property to be disposed. The remaining soil will be disinfected.

No direct waterways were affected by the spill, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board inspected the site.

“It didn’t really cause any environmental hazards because they cleaned it up so fast,” Mann said.

“It definitely happened in a good location and at a good time. If it were near a creek or a drainage ditch that led to the river it would have been catastrophic.”


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