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Downpour Leads To Massive Sewage Spill In San Anselmo

SAN ANSELMO (KPIX 5) -- Three days ago, workers on a Ross Valley Sanitization District sewer replacement project in San Anselmo were caught off guard by a sudden rain downpour that resulted in a 100,000-gallon sewage spill. Now, two massive pumps are in place and they say that they are ready for anything.

The Ross Valley Sanitation District is replacing a 100-year-old sewer line. They knew the rain was coming and prepared for an inch of rain, however.

"There was a four-inch storm that in the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood." said Steve Moore, General Manager of Ross Valley Sanitation District. "Yeah, 4-point-44 [inches] and that's a lot more than the one or two inches that we thought were coming."

The rain overwhelmed the old pipes and sewage flowed over the manholes, into the street, flooding gutters and sidewalks. The district reported that as much as 100,000 gallons escaped the system.  "We're taking responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen again and also to understand how much we could control and how much we could not have controlled," said Moore.

Neighbors living on Broadmoor St. say the contractor and district reacted quickly.

"Truck after truck would drive in, backing up each other. One would suck up, fill it up and the next one would pull in." explained resident Bob Cuevas. His neighbor, Mark Parnow, agreed. "They did a fabulous job, very efficiently and now, they've proceeded to go on and upgrade some of the lines," he said.

Workers on the street said these two new high-capacity pumps can handle 10 inches of rain. The district says they are ready for the next storm.


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