Sewage spill forces closure of Orange County beach

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - A portion of Aliso Beach was closed after a sewage line broke, spewing thousands of gallons of raw or partially treated waste into a creek that flowed into the ocean.

More than 1,500 gallons of partially treated waste from a south Laguna Beach sewage treatment facility spewed into the ocean when the cap from a sewer line broke Saturday, said David Caretto, general manager of the Aliso Water Management Agency.

Officials closed a 2,000-foot section of Aliso Beach. Crews were attempting Tuesday to repair the broken pipe and determine the cause of the break.

It's the third time this year health officials have closed the beach because of water pollution.

On Jan. 4, 390 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Laguna Woods. Another 500 gallons of raw sewage leaked into the ocean on Feb. 17.

Two weeks ago, the county launched its creek diversion project to prevent urban runoff from flowing into Aliso Beach. Under an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission, the county blocked the creek with a sand berm and began pumping creek water into an outfall pipe that flows 2 miles into the ocean.

The project is to ease the creek's chronic bacteria problems that have brought complaints by swimmers of skin rashes and infections, said Larry Paul, county manager of watershed and coastal resources.


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