BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A new problem since last week’s historic flooding has surfaced for people in some homes in Boulder. It is not only mud filling their homes, but raw sewage.
The Boulder City Council talked with people about the rising sewage problem on Tuesday. Several hundred people have been affected.
Pumping the waste out of houses isn’t an easy task in part because water levels are still high in parts of the city.
Resident Gene Treppeda, who lives on Cimarron Street in South Boulder, told CBS4 he woke up to two-and-a-half feet of sewage swamping his basement. His washer and dryer were floating through the door of his laundry room.
“My furnace, my water heater are all gone,” he said.
Perhaps most shocking was when he saw his daughter floating on her bed in a river of waste.
He is still cleaning up, and industrial strength pumps just are not getting the job done.
“My pumps couldn’t keep up,” he told CBS4 on Monday. “I probably was pumping anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 gallons a day of raw sewage out.”
Mark Banuelos with the Boulder Public Works Department said Boulder’s waste water treatmant plant was overwhelmed with 38 million more gallons of water than usual during the flood. That overwhelmed the system.
He says crews are working around the clock to help pump out the sewage.
“When we get overwhelmed with waters like this and manhole covers come off all those debris go into the sanitary sewer system, and that creates problems all over the place,” Banuelos said.
He says all people can do for now — is be patient.
Treppeda still has several inches of the sewage in his basement. He joked that he would never leave Boulder, but perhaps someday he’ll build a “house on stilts.”
Contact the public works call center in Boulder if you are experiencing problems. The phone number is (303) 413-7100.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.