A city crew of eight men worked all day Thursday to keep untreated sewage from overflowing at a leaky pump station on Douglas.
"I've been here for 27 years. This has never happened," said Tony Stoinich, crew leader and senior operator.
The pump station at the end of Lawson Creek Road pumps sewage to West Juneau, about 200,000 gallons a day, according to Stoinich. From there it heads under the channel to the wastewater treatment plant.
The pump station is situated near an apartment complex and is positioned over the channel.
Each day, a city worker opens the top of the Lawson Creek dry well to check on it. The same goes for all the other pump stations. Ordinarily, it's dry. Thursday the sewage was 12 feet from the top.
The workers turned off the pump station and pumped about 15,000 gallons of sewage out with a vacuum truck. None of it spilled, they said.
Stoinich said he wasn't yet completely sure what went wrong, but suspected a bolt vibrated loose and allowed the dry well to fill with wastewater.
Thursday evening the crew of eight had been working since 10:30 a.m. They expected to be out by 10 p.m., and Stoinich said that someone would baby-sit the station that night.
"I feel an upgrade is needed," he added.
Contact reporter Kate Golden at 523-2276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.