Vandals cause sewage spill |

Vandals cause sewage spill

Raw sewage spilled from a manhole cover Wednesday night near Heavenly Ski Resort, and officials from the South Tahoe Public Utility District spent Thursday cleaning up the mess.

“We do not have an estimate on the amount of the spill. Part of the reason is we don’t know how long it lasted,” said Ken Schroeder, STPUD manager of maintenance.

A passerby saw the spill Wednesday and reported it to STPUD.

The leak was a result of vandalism. Someone had lifted the manhole, thrown a log and pine cones into the sewer and covered it back up.

The area where the leak happened is bounded by Keller Road, Wildwood Avenue, Pioneer Trail and Needle Peak Road. The spill flowed directly into a nearby stream which ultimately drains into a storm drain retention pond at Ski Run Boulevard and Paradise Avenue. The retention pond overflows into the Ski Run Marina area.

Officials are sampling the basin and its outflow.

Signs are posted urging people to avoid the area. When the area is determined to be safe, the signs will be removed.

The big question: Does it stink?

“No,” Schroeder said. “I couldn’t smell anything.”

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