Ask Joe: Did sewer line break contribute to fish kill in Sparks?

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Updated: 1/06/2014 4:09 pm
From the Ask Joe file one of our viewers has a question about the recent deaths of a number of fish at the Sparks Marina.

Guy Mason wrote in saying he recently saw crews in Sparks who told him they were fixing a broken sewer line.  Guy wants to know if it's possible that a sewer line break may have polluted the Sparks Marina and killed off all of those fish recently ?

Good question Guy but I checked with those in charge and they insist the answer is no.    They say there have been no broken sewer lines  and that low oxygen levels are likely what killed off thousands of fish last month in the marina.
  I pressed Adam Mayberry, the city spokesperson on this since our viewer, Guy, says a crew told him they were fixing a broken sewer line on York Way and East 4th Street.
Mayberry says there was a water line break in early December on Baring Boulevard in front of Reed High School.  That was a TMWA water line and TMWA did the repair.
  And he says there may have been some maintenance being done on a sewer line on York Way but he says no break was ever reported.  Mayberry says those are old sewer lines and crews are often out doing inspections to look for problems.
In any case, Mayberry says there are no sewer lines that would lead into the Sparks Marina anyway.  It is a natural aquifer and nothing is pumped in although water does drain out into the Truckee River.
The fish kill is baffling. All kinds of fish washed up on the beach that day, and tests have shown low oxygen levels in that part of the marina. So wildlife officials are continuing to focus on that as they try to pin down the official cause so that it doesn't happen again. 

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