Sewage spill threatens meadow

Contractors hired by a telephone company accidentally drilled into a sewer main Friday around 3 p.m.

The damage to the main sent gallons of sewage downhill into a storm drain at the intersection of Al Tahoe and Johnson boulevards. The drain empties into a ditch that runs along College Drive before it flows into a meadow.

Alpine Septic and Pumping arrived around 3:40 p.m. and used a 2,500 gallon truck with a long suction hose to vacuum sewage from the ditch so it wouldn't reach the meadow.

Underground Construction, of Benicia, drilled into the main, which runs from a sewage pump station at the corner of Highway 50 and Johnson Boulevard to the South Tahoe Public Utility District plant.

The contractors, hired by SBC, intended to install protective pipe for fiber optic cable underground along Al Tahoe Boulevard. Richard Solbrig, general manager for STPUD, arrived on the scene shortly after the break occurred.

"We shut it down," he said. "Now they're digging it up so we can put a repair clamp on it."

Solbrig estimated it would take about three hours to make the repair. He said he couldn't immediately estimate the amount of sewage that escaped the main, but it should be possible to come up with a number once STPUD gets a chance to check its flow rates.

- Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at


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