Jan 18, 2007

Laguna To Improve Aging Sewer Line Tunnel Housing

Laguna, Calif., has begun a project to upgrade an aging tunnel housing around an Orange County sewer line. The wastewater is carried from south Laguna Beach and north Dana Point homes and businesses. More than 1 million gallons of wastewater are at risk of seeping from the line, and therefore upgrades were necessary.

According to Linda Homscheid, spokeswoman for the South Coast Water District, which is overseeing the project, there has not been a spill in the past 53 years. Fixing the pipeline will help ensure there will not be a spill in the next 53 years.

The Orange County Register reported that during weekdays, workers will remove loose rock and rotting timber from the tunnel, enhance and secure its largest entryway and encase parts of the sewer pipe in concrete.

Local residents are pleased with the project, as a spill could have a disastrous affect on local property.

The $2 to $3 million project has been delayed several times due to rough surf conditions, but it is now expected to begin shortly. Homscheid informed the Orange Country Register that construction will not interrupt public access or use of the beach and sewer operations. There will be a fenced-in storage area near the bluff, and crews will direct the public around the area.

Built in 1954, the sewer line spans 2 miles, from Three Arch Bay to Aliso Beach. This sewer pipe is the only one in Southern California housed in a tunnel. The system uses gravity to move wastewater, which is designed to eliminate the need for six sewer stations across the coast.

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