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Rancho Santa Fe

County to assess water quality following sewage spill

ENCINITAS — Following a spill that leaked 6,200 gallons of sewage into Moonlight Beach Sunday, closing a span of approximately 200 feet of beach, County officials are expected to test the water again today before reopening the area for recreational activities. 

Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said the County tests the water daily, and results typically take about 24 hours once sent to the lab. He added that it will be probably tomorrow when they hear whether the beach can be reopened.

City of Encinitas lifeguards received a radio call from the battalion chief late Sunday morning, alerting them of the spill and sending them along Cottonwood Creek to try and find anything, explained Giles. Lifeguards posted the beach-closed signs as the call progressed, Giles said.

City of Encinitas crews found the spill was caused by a blockage in one of the manholes near the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Vulcan Avenue.

According to city workers still investigating what caused the blockage, the spill was not common for the area. They added that it was the first time in this area that it’s ever happened.

The line that became blocked comes down from Vulcan Avenue and crosses to Encinitas Boulevard and then runs down to the pump station near Moonlight Beach.

The line’s shorter service area may have been the reason more sewage wasn’t spilled. If it had been a bigger line, or a longer distance line, more sewage may have been spilt.

Crews monitor the system every three months, they said, monitoring the flow levels and manhole covers for root growth. The lines get cleaned twice a year.

It took more than an hour for crews to clear the blockage and restore the flow.

Giles examined the outlet near the beach early Monday but said he couldn’t tell if any sewage was still being leaked. “But that doesn’t mean that there’s something not in there.”

 

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