Sewage spill closes Paso Robles preschool classroom

August 28, 2019

A construction accident exacerbated by the flushing of football stadium toilets left a Paso Robles preschool classroom flooded with sewage last week. [Tribune]

On Friday night, a contractor was working near the intersection of 26th and Spring streets, where workers were grinding down a section of road that was going to be repaved. A piece of debris fell through an opening into the sewage system, clogging a city pipe.

At the same time, the Paso Robles High School football team was playing a game at War Memorial Stadium near 24th and Spring streets. The crowd using the toilets at the stadium worsened the backup and the spill.

The backup caused sewage to spill into a portable classroom on the Flamson Middle School campus. The classroom was being used by preschool students amid a multi-year renovation project that is ongoing at Bauer Speck Elementary School.

As a result of the spill, officials relocated 26 preschool students and three teachers to their old classroom at Bauer Speck Elementary. The portable classroom they were using on the middle school campus will remain closed for 10 days to two weeks while crews thoroughly disinfect it.

City workers helped clean up the sewage spill, which did not reach any nearby storm drains. The spill did not pose a threat to public health and the environment, Paso Robles Wastewater Division Manager Matt Thompson said.

The whole incident is expected to cost the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District nearly $50,000. The district plans to negotiate shared responsibility for the cost with the contractor and the city.