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Patch Watch: Overflowing Storm Manhole Fixed on Los Gatos Creek Trail

Thanks to suggestion from Los Gatos Patch reader, Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department fixes problem with open grate cover.

Los Gatos Patch reader Gary Hinze reported that several times while riding his bike along Los Gatos Creek Trail after a major rain storm, he would notice a storm drain manhole that overflowed next to Charter Oak Drive.

The cover would be lifted by the storm water and the bank was eroding. The loose cover was a trip-and-fall hazard, as was the erosion channel along the edge of the path, he explained.

The erosion was undercutting the edge of the path. He said he would kick the cover back on whenever he saw it off.

After he suggested to Los Gatos Parks and Public Works officials that it might be better to have a bolted down cover or an open grate to allow overflow, he was pleasantly surprised to learn his request had been granted.

After the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 storm system, Hinze said water was still overflowing and sweeping grass, but the cover was not displaced and the erosion seemed to be under control.

LOCATION: Los Gatos Creek Trail adjacent to Charter Oak Drive at the north end of Charter Oak Circle

PROBLEM: Storm drain manhole overflowed, cover was lifted by the storm water becoming a trip-and-fall hazard and the bank was eroded. 

RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department, 408-399-5770, or email ppw@losgatosca.gov.

DATE REPORTED: Dec. 11

DAYS ON WATCH: 10

DATE FIXED: Before Dec. 21

Michelle McNutt January 07, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Patch editors, where are all of the new stories going? I see the same stories at the top for days, even weeks with no new info or comments, and new stories come and disappear? What's going on? Is this because of the holidays? Thank you.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Hi Michelle, new stories are posted daily, sometimes up to 10 new pieces of content. There is one story that's been pinned in the top-four well part of the site due to its high-interest, but we often unpin those after the comments stop. Stories posted daily move down the news stream as more are added on a daily basis. Hope this explains what's going on. No reduction in production numbers, though, content is still being uploaded as we speak!
Michelle McNutt January 07, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Thanks Shelia. I see that some people have commented on the Ravi Kumra murder story recently. Guess it was because the Los Gatos Shop owner story hasn't had comments in a week and has been up for a few. New ones seemed to come and go and old ones seemed to be just sitting there.
Karyn gramling January 08, 2013 at 04:26 AM
There are also two uncovered storm drains on Overlook Rd. between Wissahickon and Madrone. They are full of muddy run off and the grates are sitting on the road adjacent to them, which make them look just like the wet asphalt. To the horror of onlookers, one of my Golden Retrievers stepped into the drain while on a walk last week and went headfirst into the drain was completely submerged. I was able to pull on her leash and right her then grab her scruff and pull her out, but I shudder to think that could have been a child from one of the Rancho de Los Gatos condos on the street right there. I have notified the LGPPW and am awaiting their response.
Gary Hinze January 09, 2013 at 06:26 AM
That kind of thing is serious enough that you might call 911. I would put the grate back on to remove the immediate hazard, then it becomes an urgent maintenance call. I dropped down on the Google Map Street View and "walked" Overlook from Wissahickon to Madrone. There is a storm drain inlet on the south side near Wissahickon and another about a third of the way from Chestnut to Madrone. There is water flowing along the gutter out of the one near Chestnut to the one near Wissahickon. Both grates are in place on the frame, but the Chestnut one is full of leaves. Sometimes the lateral from the inlet to the main will get plugged, keeping water from going down, but this one has water coming up out of it. That suggests that the pipe downstream is plugged. That both grates were off recently suggests that the pipe downstream of the lower grate is also plugged with debris. That suggests this is not simply a matter of replacing the grate, quite a bit of pipe needs cleaning. Unless it was the manhole cover in the middle of the street.that was off. I was surprised to find only one manhole cover in this street. Usually there are two runs, one for the storm drain and one for the sanitary sewer, and usually the covers on each are about 400' apart. When reporting it is best to give a precise location, such as an address or compass direction and distance from the nearest intersection. In this case, Google Map Coordinates are approximately 37.227491,-121.994785 .
Gary Hinze January 11, 2013 at 08:31 AM
I was pleased, but not surprised. Agencies respond to my deficiency reports with in a reasonable time, considering their availability of resources. Someone must visit the site first and assess the situation before developing a plan of action. They also must prioritize tasks.

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