News Briefs: Manhole Vandal Causes Sewer Overflow

Also in this week's sewer and water news, two high-level pumping staff members go AWOL during a power crisis in New Orleans

A vandal who filled a manhole with rocks caused a sewer blockage and wastewater release in Cary, North Carolina, according to CBS 17 News.

Someone pried off a manhole cover, says the city’s wastewater collections manager, Ronald Smith. A neighbor saw sewage overflowing at the site, and a public works crew was sent to the scene to contain the spill.

“We identified a large number of large stones and wood that was placed in the sewer system, that caused the blockage,” Smith tells CBS 17. “There’s a number of large stone that are right in the proximity of the manhole, which is used for erosion control.”

An estimated 1,350 gallons of sewage spilled from the sewer.


Oregon Woman Sues City for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A woman in West Bend, Oregon, is suing the city claiming that repairs to a sewer pipe near her home caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

The city’s plant interceptor line built in the early 1980s runs through the back of the woman’s property and she granted the city a construction easement to repair the pipe.

The pipe was repaired, but the plaintiff says she saw gasses being discharged at the construction site and claims workers hid from her when she approached them. She later went to the hospital and was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.


Pumping Staff Members Go AWOL During Crisis

In the midst of a power crisis, pressure drop and boil-water advisory for New Orleans, two high-level employees of the Sewerage & Water Board’s pumping staff were AWOL, utility director Ghassan Korban tells Nola.com News.

After a car hit a power pole, a power source for one of the city’s pumping stations was shut off. Korban says a series of power and water pump failures then led to a major water pressure drop.

It was then that two staff members “bailed,” Korban tells Nola.com. “They failed to perform . . . they didn’t do their job. Let’s put it this way: They didn’t necessarily leave, but they were not available.”

Both employees have been suspended without pay.



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