Dec 02, 2019

Orange County, Calif., Lifts Closures After Wastewater Leak

Authorities have reopened approximately six miles of Orange County, Calif., ocean and bay water areas closed by a 1.4 million gal sewage spill caused by a broken valve. 

sewage pipe

Authorities have reopened about six miles of Orange County, Calif., ocean and bay water areas closed by a 1.4 million gal sewage spill

The wastewater leak from a broken valve on a 24 in. city sewage pipe has been stopped and the estimated wastewater spill volume is 1.4 million gal, which is lower than the initial 4 million gal estimate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The county Health Care Agency announced the closure of more than 16 miles of water areas on Nov. 27 between Pelican Point at Crystal Cove State Park and Poche Beach at the Dana Point-San Clemente border.

A crew of about 20 to 30 people worked in shifts to get the leak stopped, reported the Orange County Register.

“I want to stress the importance of avoiding contact with ocean water in the affected areas due to the danger of exposure to untreated sewage, which can be harmful and result in very serious illness with potentially severe effects,” said Orange County Health Officer Nichole Quick after the initial discovery of the leak.

Approximately six miles were reopened Nov. 29, but several miles will remain closed until results of water quality tests meet state bacteria standards, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Closures have been lifted at Newport Beach, Doheny State Beach, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point Harbor and Poche Beach. Closures remain in effect from El Moro Creek at Crystal Cove State Park to the southernmost point of Dana Strand in Dana Point, reported the Los Angeles Times.

“Over the last 15 to 20 years, we’ve had a much better record with not closing beaches,” said Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig to the Orange County Register. “Unfortunately, we still have this happening from time to time.”

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