Oct 28, 2021

Pacifica, California's, Linda Mar Beach Closes Due to Sanitary Sewer System Flooding

The city is required to keep the beach area closed for a minimum of three days and provide testing of the water to the San Mateo County Health Department. 

beach water

Pacifica, California's, Linda Mar Beach closed Oct. 24 evening after Pacifica’s sewage system flooded with rainwater, according to the city.

Pacifica received 6 inches of rain, almost reaching levels of a 100-year storm event, reported the city in its press release. 

Linda Mar’s sanitary sewer system was overwhelmed with inflow and infiltration which caused a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO)/bypass at the Linda Mar Pump Station. 

The bypass then sent untreated effluent into the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the city is required to keep the beach area closed for a minimum of three days and provide testing of the water to the San Mateo County Health Department. 

The beach will remain closed until San Mateo County Health receives appropriate water sample results and approves reopening. 

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“Basically, anything that’s in the city on the street is coming into the storm drain with the rain and getting washed out into the bay and into our local creeks,” said Sajel Choksi-Chugh, the executive director for San Francisco Baykeeper, reported CBS San Francisco. “We’re looking at storm water runoff that has pollutants from every single paved area around the bay, we’re looking at industrial pollution, we’re also looking at wastewater overflows.”

Linda Mar’s recently constructed wet weather equalization basin performed successfully during the storm, even though it reached full capacity. 

According to the city, the equalization basin contained over 2 million gallons of sewer effluent from the storm, which prevented the effluent from flowing onto streets or into the waterways. In the past Linda Mar has experienced widespread SSO flooding, despite an unprecedented amount of rainfall.

The beach will not reopen until water samples are considered safe by state water quality standards.

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