A Kennewick couple were forced to leave their home Wednesday evening when a sewer line flooded their basement and garage.
Dianna and Timothy Winters, who live at 2407 S. Irving St., discovered the foul water bubbling up from a floor drain in a utility room about 4:30 p.m. When efforts to reach the city’s emergency utility department failed, they called 911.
Kennewick firefighters came to the rescue and helped dig a drainage trench from the house toward a nearby irrigation canal.
By the time, crews arrived their basement had nearly a foot of sewer water, said Dianna Winters.
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Two neighbors’ homes also had water damage but the Winters’ home was at the lowest point and had the most problems, said Chris Espinoza, wastewater supervisor for Kennewick.
The Panoramic Heights sewer backup occurred when a shut-off valve in the upper reservoir for the city’s potable water system failed to activate, causing water to continue filling the reservoir and overflowing into the sewer system, said Ken Nelson, Kennewick’s assistant public works director.
The sewer system couldn’t handle the excess water, Nelson said.
“We are in the ‘cleaning up the mess’ mode,” he said.
The cause of the valve failure isn’t known, Nelson said.