City Council declares emergency to replace damaged sewer line under Moses Lake

Print Article

MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake City Council made an emergency declaration to expedite the replacement of a sewer main that ruptured under the lake Aug. 28, releasing at least 64,000 gallons of raw sewage into the water.

That release, which was discovered to be coming from a breach in the aging Knolls Vista Siphon, prompted a seven day no-contact advisory for the waters of Moses Lake. That pipeline is decades old and has had a history of breaches in recent years, according to a press release.

About five hours after the breach was discovered, City wastewater employees installed a steel band around the breach to stop the discharge.

Now, with the declaration of an emergency, the council has empowered city staff to waive the formal bidding process for the repairs, which entail rerouting the sewer mains in Northshore Drive, bypassing the Knolls Vista siphon by installing a gravity main directly to the Sage Bay Lift Station.

Once sewage is redirected to a line out from underneath the lake, the old stretch of pipe under the water that was the source of the breach will be capped off and allowed to remain under the lake, out of service, indefinitely.

Moses Lake resident Richard Teals, who initially reported seeing the sewage bubbling up above the surface of the lake, noted at Tuesday’s council meeting that detection might have been significantly slower if the breach had not occurred near a pylon that steered the sewage toward the surface of the lake.

Though it is not clear how long sewage was released into the lake before it was detected by Teals, detection would have taken longer if leak had not been so obvious, said Municipal Services Director Fred Snoderly.

At the earliest, the breach may have taken until the next morning to detect, when city staff take daily readings at the pump stations, Snoderly said. In response, council member Ryann Leonard suggested that, as the city deals with aging infrastructure and the potential for further leaks, the city should consider installing devices to detect breaks in lines earlier.

The line that broke shortly before Labor Day weekend, releasing raw sewage, is not the only decades-old stretch of pipe underneath Moses Lake, Snoderly said Tuesday. Though concerns were raised about potential future breaches in those other lines, no action was taken Tuesday night to address those concerns.

Emry Dinman can be reached via email at edinman@columbiabasinherald.com.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Moses Lake woman hospitalized, reportedly drove too fast for rainy conditions

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald SNOQUALMIE PASS — A Moses Lake woman was sent to the hospital Sunday night for injuries stemming from a collision caused by traveling too fast for conditions, according to the Washington State Patrol...

Comments

Read More

Grant PUD finances in strong position

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — What to do with extra cash the Grant County PUD has in excess of its needs will be discussed by commissioners over the next few meetings. The PUD sets up targets as a benchmark to see how ...

Comments

Read More

‘Chasing Paper’ opens at museum

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Wenatchee artist Chad Yenney said his interest in collage reignited while doing some crafts with his kids. The opening reception was Friday for Yenney’s “Chasing Paper” exhibit at the Mo...

Comments

Read More

Health District closer to raising food inspection fees

September 12, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — The Grant Health District is one step closer to raising the fees it charges restaurant and other food establishment owners. “The current program (would cover) 97 percent of the cost, but w...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X