A sewer maintenance man died while working inside an underground Sewer plug. An inflatable emergency sewer plug down the drain from the victim was dislodged by heavy pressure on the plunger and caused sewage to overflow into a drain line. The man was part of a 9-man sewage restoration crew assigned to redirect the flow of untreated sewage from a main, 6-foot wide sewer main to a branched, 7-foot wide sewer main with an attached stop valve. A small amount of wastewater was released into the sewer before it was redirected.
A sewer maintenance man died while working inside!!
The cause of the accident was determined to be the use of a faulty plunger during a “plug and release” procedure by a pipe maintenance team. According to investigators, the plunger was too big for the pipe that was to be plugged. According to the police report, the man’s body was recovered from the drain at approximately two hours after the incident. It is unknown whether or not he inhaled any sewer gases during the emergency. According to a police report, the man was not wearing protective gear such as gloves and earplugs.
The crew was assigned to perform a series of tests on the water levels in the sewer pipes to determine if any repairs were required to maintain proper sewer system functioning. It was determined that there was no reason for the sewage to continue to flow and overflow the gate.