Emergency work for exposed sewer line | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Emergency work for exposed sewer line

Andy Bourelle

The South Tahoe Public Utility District Board of Directors approved an emergency action last week, and it had nothing to do with MTBE.

Thirteen feet of sewer line has been exposed in the Upper Truckee River, and the board approved spending $75,000 for both a temporary and then “more-permanent” fix.

Richard Solbrig, STPUD assistant manager, said the line parallels the Upper Truckee River. However, the river has cut a new channel, probably because of the January 1997 flood, and the line now is exposed.

It is not broken, Solbrig said, but the situation is considered of an “emergency nature” because the potential is there for the line to be damaged.

An object coming down the river, such as a tree limb, could damage the line. Also, more of the bank could erode from underneath the line, causing it to “float” and increasing its chances of breaking.

The line carries about a third of the district’s sewage, carrying the waste from the Meyers area. The location of the exposed line is near the Upper Truckee Pump Station.

By taking emergency action, STPUD is able to bypass the usual bidding procedures and immediately take care of the problem. The board unanimously approved the action Thursday afternoon, and workers supported the line with sandbags Friday.

Immediate action is continuing, and Solbrig said a “more-permanent” solution will be completed in time for spring thawing, when the river will be at its fullest.

“I’m not going to call it a permanent solution because the river is always changing,” Solbrig said. “But we plan to have a longer-term solution in place within four months.”

The district’s contingency fund will be used to pay for the repair costs.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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