Rupture in line spills sewage onto parkway
The westbound lanes of a nearly two-mile stretch of Riverside Parkway remained closed overnight after Grand Junction city officials say a semitrailer accidentally ruptured a sewer line, spilling several hundred gallons of raw sewage onto the roadway early Tuesday morning.
None of the sewage was believed to have reached the Colorado River.
The semitrailer was eastbound on the parkway west of West Avenue around 1 a.m. when it drove over a temporary, above-ground sewer line crossing the parkway.
City Utility Engineer Bret Guillory said the semi accidentally hooked the pipe, dragged it about 30 yards and ruptured it. The temporary line is in place while crews repair a large concrete line underneath the parkway.
“It didn’t cross (the line) totally square. (The semi) got onto the high part of the bump and just drug it,” he said.
Fortunately, Guillory said, the amount of sewage in the line was minimal and a pump feeding the line was running only about six seconds every minute. Construction workers who were at the scene were able to shut down the pumps within seven minutes and threw sandbags around a catch basin that leads to a stormwater drainage line, he said. They then placed sump pumps in the catch basin to pump out the sewage.
Guillory said less than 500 gallons of sewage was spilled, and it was contained to the street and the catch basin. He said he doubted any sewage got down the line, which eventually empties into the river.
“As sewer overflows go, this is a very minor one,” he said.
Workers were prepared to finish the sewer-line replacement project today. The project, which started around Thanksgiving, had already been delayed due to cold weather. Crews spent hours cleaning up the sewage and repairing the temporary sewer line.
The eastbound lanes of the parkway reopened between 25 Road and West Avenue around 7 a.m. Tuesday, while the westbound lanes between Fifth Street and 25 Road were expected to reopen this morning at 6.
The driver of the semi was not ticketed, according to Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras.