Garden City, Kan., officials are expecting city residents to file more than $300,000 in claims after a recent sewage pump malfunction at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
The malfunction on Oct. 20 caused sewage to flood into basements of nearly 30 homes in the city’s Wilson Addition, The Garden City Telegram reported. The city said it expects the claims filed with the city’s insurance carrier to top $300,000.
Mike Muirhead, public utilities director, said the city’s insurance company hopes to have everything finalized in the next couple of weeks.
Muirhead also said the problem at the wastewater treatment plant has been repaired and additional steps are being considered to prevent a recurrence or provide an earlier warning.
He said the cause of the overflow appears to be things flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed.
“You know, people flush a lot of things down the sewer, and a lot of plastic diapers and cloth diapers show up down there sometimes,” Muirhead said. “Anyway, there was a lot of cloth material that initially jammed up the pumps and then caused the flow to not function properly.”
Ben Reichmuth said it took about three days to get damaged carpet and other items removed and his basement cleaned up. He estimated it cost about $3,000 to clean the basement, then an additional $3,200 to replace damaged carpeting and drywall.
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