A massive 10 ft deep sinkhole has opened up on 36th Street East and city officials say the cause was failure in a sewer pipe.
“It was likely just a smaller hole in the pipe at one point in time and through various storms throughout the summer, water running through the pipes have been washing away a little bit of the dirt in and around the pipe,” said Trent Schmidt, water and sewer manager for public works with the City. “That slowly increases over time and sometimes you just get a failure”
Crews were sent out to a small dip in the road on Monday and proceeded to barricade the area off and on Tuesday, the collapse occurred. He explained there is no way for the city to determine how long the pipe has been damaged, but said the city is taking care of the matter.
“We have a crew out there this morning, they’re cleaning what’s fallen into the sinkhole, then once they get rid of the debris, they’ll start digging down and doing the repair work,” said Schmidt. “That could be done today, or it might be done tomorrow, just depending on what they find when they get down there and how much pipe has actually failed.”
Schmidt said the city is currently examining the extent of the failure using a camera inside the pipe and are also looking at where debris may have washed into the pipe system.
“Once the repair is done, we’re going to vacuum out all of the soil that’s in the pipe to make the system flow once again,” said Schmidt “Sinkholes can happen very quickly and when they happen, we just try to get a crew out there as soon as we can.”