Raw sewage contaminates local youth center

Raw sewage contaminates local youth center »Play Video

Raw sewage crept into the Youth Activity Center in North Bend Saturday morning, contaminating rooms used by local boy and girl scouts. City Public Works Director Ron Garrow said a clogged pipe at the city’s sewage treatment plant caused the murky mess.

"It was a plug in the piping system with possible rags," he said. "Accidents do happen but fortunately it didn’t get into the river."

The backup caused raw sewage to spill over concrete walls, into the neighboring youth center. By the time the center’s board chairman John Glazer and board member Joel Yoker showed up, the building was soaked in brown muck half a foot deep.

"Since this is community owned and community run it's not a city facility," Yoker said "This is pretty devastating."

Community members built the center more than 50 years ago as a home for local youth groups. A nonprofit group rents the space to church and community groups to raise funds for boy and girl scouts who call the building home. Yoker says the sewage overflow destroyed the carpet inside along with the cabinets and furniture.

Yoker says the smelly mess comes about a month after vandals spray-painted graffiti on the building’s walls. Youth group members spent days cleaning the walls outside but Yoker worries his group does not have the money to clean up the latest mess. He is strapped for cash, trying to find a meeting place for his scouts as well.

"We find the they have pretty exorbitant costs associated with renting those facilities so trying to find locations for youth groups to meet every week will be tough in the near term," he said.

Glazer says city leaders assure him they will foot the bill for the initial cleanup but he admits that may not be enough to fully restore the aging building.

To help the North Bend Youth Activity Center contact the KOMO 4 Problem Solvers at  ProblemSolvers@komo4news.com.