Sewage spills into street |

Sewage spills into street

At least 1,000 gallons of raw sewage flooded a small portion of Eloise Avenue after it flowed from a clogged pipe up through a manhole Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

South Lake Tahoe firefighters put up with the stench while using dirt and red plastic tarps to keep the sewage from a nearby storm drain. They aimed the flow of liquid feces and globs of toilet paper toward a small fenced-in grass basin alongside the road, which was away from businesses such as European Cabinetry and U-Stor-It.

A South Lake Tahoe Public Utilities District crew arrived at 11:07 a.m. They blew out the clogged line at a manhole on Tahoe Keys Boulevard and that stopped the flow of sewage.

“There was a stoppage in the line,” said South Lake Tahoe Public Utilities Assistant Manager/Engineer Richard Solbrig. “The sewage went to the storm drains so were going to suck the sewage from the drains. We’ll flush it, suck out the sewage and spread some chlorine.”

The spill is not expected to endanger public health, said Ginger Huber, who works at South Shore for El Dorado County Environmental Management. She inspected the basin where a small amount of the sewage gathered.

“It’ll evaporate and they’ll put some lime on it to kill the odor. It’s all dried up already,” she said. “My first concern is public health. As long as it’s cleaned up there should be no health or environmental issue.”

Cleanup began immediately after STPUD unclogged the line. A STPUD sewage truck nicknamed the “Camel” vacuumed up large puddles left by the leak.

For about two hours traffic was not allowed on the section of Eliose from Tahoe Keys Boulevard to Dunlap Drive.

“Any spill is not good, but it’s contained,” said Scott Rogers, street supervisor for South Lake Tahoe. “All of it is on the pavement and surfaces. It looks like they got on it fairly quickly and saved it from contaminating a lot more area.”

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