News Feature | January 30, 2018

Irrigation District Responds After Body Found In Pipeline

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,
@sarmje

police line reg new

A man’s body was found last week in a water pipeline operated by a California water district.

“The body of a man who fell into a water pipeline in El Dorado County was found [on January 23] after hours of searching, which prompted an emergency water conservation announcement for residents in Pollock Pines, Placerville, El Dorado Hills, and Cameron Park,” KCRA reported.

El Dorado Irrigation District spokesman Jesse Saich said it is believed that the man entered the pipeline through an air vent, according to KCRA. The Camino Conduit pipe carries raw water to a water treatment plant from Jenkinson Lake.

“The body of Tory Robert Mayes, 34, of Pollock Pines, was discovered about 11 a.m. in an area of raw water, which is eventually treated at a high level before it is distributed to customers,” KCRA reported, citing Saich.

The day before Mayes’ body was found district officials issued an emergency conservation warning to ratepayers.

“Residents throughout El Dorado County, including Pollock Pines, Placerville, El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park, received phone calls and emails about the water conservation announcement,” KCRA previously reported.

“Minimizing usage will reduce the potential for the water system to lose pressure or completely run out of water,” the notice to customers said, per KCRA.

The irrigation district provides drinking water to homes, schools, and businesses, as well as recycled water for irrigating yards and public landscapes.

Mayes was hiking with his half-brother and a friend on the day he passed. Mayes’ half-brother described what happened to The Mountain Democrat.

“I heard Tory splashing and tried leaning my arm around the corner where the pipe ends and almost slipped in as well. If there was something I could have done to save him, I would have,” he said, per the report. “I tried to climb down and feel around but the water started pulling me in. I saw Tory...I heard a splash, looked around again and Tory was gone.”

Image credit: "Nori's Police Line," Sarah Marriage © 2007, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/