UPDATE: After utility employees in Washington found items indicating that children may be living in a sewer last week, police began an investigation.
Police were able to identify two boys who told them they had been staying there. During questioning, the boys admitted they were not homeless and had been using the sewer as a "fort."
It was discovered that both of the juveniles are students at Federal Way Middle School. One of the students lives at a home directly in front of the sewer manhole.
Read the original story below.
Ken Miller, a 30-year engineering manager with a Washington-based utility company, said he's never seen anything quite like it.
Miller said meter readers with the Lakehaven Utility District spied an open manhole in the middle of a street Friday afternoon.
"They pushed the manhole closed, and then later on they came back and the manhole was open," Miller said.
The workers contacted the Lakehaven Sewer District, who sent out a crew to investigate. When they looked inside, they were surprised to find clothes, toys, food and other miscellaneous belongings.
Miller said the crew later made contact with kids nearby who said they had stayed there.
"This should not happen at all," Miller said. "This is where all our waste goes from our houses and our businesses."
In addition to debris, Miller warns there is limited oxygen and the possibility of vermin and potential gases.
He said crews that venture down into the sewer wear protective equipment and take other precautions against potential dangers.
"No one should be down there ... this could have been life and death," Miller said.
Miller said all of the items the crews uncovered have been removed.
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