Photo by Melinda Dudley
Contaminated possessions sit outside The Cabins at River Bend on Friday. Raw sewage backed up into six units after a pump and alarm system failed Thursday afternoon.
Steamboat Springs A sewer system backup caused minor flooding at six residences at The Cabins at River Bend west of Steamboat II on Thursday, displacing about a dozen people while their residences are decontaminated.
The lift station and its alarm system serving the Steamboat II area failed Thursday afternoon, causing sewage backup, according to a news release from the city of Steamboat Springs. The Cabins at River Bend are serviced by the Steamboat II Metro Water District.
"I've seen the sewer line back up before, but we've never had units contaminated," River Bend owner Reed Stephenson said.
Three duplex cabins at River Bend, which, according to Stephenson, are the closest residences to the sewage mainline, were the only buildings affected. The six affected units were flooded with 1 to 2 inches of raw sewage. The city has arranged temporary housing for the displaced residents at hotels, Stephenson said.
The pump and alarm system were repaired quickly after the problem was discovered, resulting in no service interruptions to Steamboat II and the surrounding area, according to a news release.
"Fortunately, only a handful of people and no businesses were affected," City Clerk Julie Jordan said. "Unfortunately, however, some of their possessions and their residences were contaminated."
Furniture and personal items sat on the grass in front of River Bend cabins Friday afternoon, rugs draped across fences to dry in the sun. Some items that cannot be decontaminated will have to be disposed of, Stephenson said.
"We have a certified decontamination unit here right now doing professional cleaning," Stephenson said. "Cleanup will probably take about a week."
Minor repairs also will be necessary, including replacing contaminated baseboards, Stephenson said.
"Luckily, the affected units have stamped concrete floors. Otherwise we'd have an even worse mess," Stephenson said.
The city has not had any sewage line problems that affected businesses or residents in recent years, Jordan said.
In September 2007, construction crews broke a water main at the Bud Werner Memorial Library, resulting in an emergency ban on water use in west Steamboat Springs for 48 hours while the city's water was tested for contamination.