Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Water main megaspill, and sewer minispill, on S Industrial

From the city water utilities department, details about the water main break that closed South Industrial earlier this week. The spill was significant enough that you can see it on the USGS water gauge for Malletts Creek downstream.
Yesterday morning (Tuesday January 28, 2014) the freeze/thaw cycle that we are experiencing this winter caused a 16-inch water main to break on S. Industrial. The force of water from that break caused a private sanitary sewer lead to break as well. Water then flowed into the open sewer lead, flooding the sanitary sewer and forcing untreated sewage up through manhole covers, onto the street and into the storm water system. We’ve estimated that about 900 gallons of untreated but diluted (with 1,000,000 gallons of clean drinking water) sewage found its way into Malletts Creek.

A gallon of water costs about half a penny from a city tap, according to a handy city Water Matters newsletter from 2011.  A million gallons of water would run you a cool $5,000 at municipal rates. If instead you went to fancy bottled water and spilled a million gallons of Cap-10 from the local party store, at $1.39 a liter that would run you on the order of $5.26 million dollars worth of spillage (plus deposit and carbonation).

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