Byline: Taylor Hill
SAN DIEGO — An estimated 2 million gallons of sewage spilled out of a San Diego metropolitan wastewater pump into Los Penasquitos Lagoon at Torrey Pines State Park, leading San Diego County officials to shut down more than 10 miles of beaches.
Beaches affected extended from Scripps Pier to Del Mar and Solana Beach. At press time, officials expected most beaches to be reopened within two days of the closures.
The leak, which came from Pump Station #64 on Roselle Street, was reportedly caused by the massive power outage that hit South Orange County, San Diego County, and portions of Arizona and Baja California.
An additional spill occurred at Pump Station #1 near Interstate 5 and Highway 54, resulting in a release of an estimated 120,000 gallons. The spill flowed into the Sweetwater River, which flows into San Diego Bay. Signs warning of contamination were posted at Bayside Park in Chula Vista and Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado.
An advisory was issued for eight San Diego neighborhoods, urging residents and businesses to boil water before using it, as officials determined whether tap water in those areas had been contaminated. The advisory was lifted Sept. 11, when testing showed the tap water in La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo and several other neighborhoods was safe.
The sewage spill postponed the sixth annual Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon event from its planned Sept. 11 date to Sept. 25, as event organizer Nedra Abramson noted that the health concern was too great to risk holding the event.
Mark McPherson, the county’s chief of land and water quality, said some of the city’s sewage pump stations don’t have backup power, leading to an overflow of sewage during the outage.
–Information from staff and Associated Press reports was used in this story.