Liquid sewage pumped into ditch after pipe breaks in Beaver Lake community

CASS COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- A pipe break last month called for emergency repairs on a sewage lift station south of Plattsmouth, but what a nearby homeowner saw has her claiming something stinks.

It’s not the water from Beaver Lake but what people living around it are flushing that erupted in front of the Kim home.

“It looked like Old Faithful shooting out the top just spurting out, and it smelled horrible,” Kim said.

About three weeks ago, a pipe broke in one of 16 lift stations serving Beaver Lake. For an emergency repair, 1,500 gallons of wastewater was to be pumped into a ditch along the county road.

“I can’t believe the pumped whatever comes out of those disgusting things all over this,” Kim said. “We mow this. Kids play in this ditch.”

Beaver Lake Association manager said a tank truck wasn’t available and going into the ditch was a better option than having liquid sewage backing up into someone’s house.

Should there be another incident of smelly water pouring from that lift station, Kim said she would like to see notification either by mail or a knock on the door.

Kim, who asked her last name not be used, said she happened to be home and shot cell video.

“If I wasn’t home, nobody would have seen it happen. We would have been out here, kids would have been in the ditch,” she said.

The association manager said there are no health concerns and that the wastewater pumped into the ditch was like fertilizer that soaks into the soil. In the future, any property owners directly affected by a pipe break will be notified.
“And know our yards are safe to be in,” she said.

Kim said that will help ease suspicion that something doesn’t smell right.

The Beaver Lake Association manager said the necessary paperwork was filed with the state and an environmental specialist made an inspection, but that report isn’t public yet. However, Brian McManus of the Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy said:

“Pumping wastewater into a nearby ditch would not be considered properly remediating affected areas. Proper remediation would involve recovery of any water, managing the soil and making proper repairs.”