Broken pipe leads to Lake City sewage leak

Lake City Councilman Tony Snyder got an invitation last week he just couldn’t turn down.

“(City Administrator) Eric (Wood) called and said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’’ Snyder said, recalling the conversation he and Wood had Aug. 31.

Wood suggested Snyder swing by the Lake City Fire Station and grab a hazardous materials suit.

“‘Could you meet us at the sewage plant?’” Wood asked Snyder.

Snyder, who is a volunteer firefighter and a firefighter instructor, already had a Class B Hazmat suit in his truck. He headed to the city’s sewage treatment plant and helped place a pump that lowered the level of sewage from about 8 feet to 3 feet, then donned the suit and headed down the 35 or so feet from ground level into an area city officials refer to as a can, so named for the steel, round look of the area that houses three sewage pumps. The area is supposed to remain dry, Snyder said, but a small pipe broke and caused a leak; liquid from that leak short circuited other equipment in the room, causing the sewage backup.

“I think the real heroes are the public works employees of Lake City who keep the lift station running 24/7,” Snyder said Monday. “I appreciate everything that each one of them do day in and day out, Jim Janssen, Lynn Boyd, and Mark Hungate.”