Local News

Jan 12, 2010 11:25 PM by Stacy Daniel

Sewer spill in San Luis Obispo prompts warning in Avila Beach

One thousand gallons of raw sewage spill in San Luis Obispo. The Public Health Department says the sewage was discovered early this morning, coming out of a manhole on California Boulevard.
The spill was caused by a blocked sewer line on California Boulevard. But, the effects of that blockage can still be seen from miles away.
Environmental Health Officers have posted signs warning people to stay out of the water at Avila Beach.
Environmental Health Specialist, Aaron LaBarre says, "Raw sewage contains pathogens that would be injurious to the public health", to that, Arroyo Grande resident, Jamie Tyler says, "That's kind of scary cause you really don't know what you can contract if you go out into the water. That's kind of scary."
Now, you may be wondering how a spill in San Luis Obispo could effect the water quality in Avila. According to the San Luis Obispo County Department of Environmental Heath, raw sewage overflowed from a manhole on California Boulevard, entered into a storm drain and poured into Stenner creek. Stenner creek connects with San Luis creek which flows to Avila Beach.
LaBarre says, "None of the sewage flowed into the creek in the downtown area."
Ninety percent of the estimated one thousand gallons that spilled was recovered.
A hazmat crew placed sand bags around the release points and vacuumed the sewage from the storm drains. LaBarre says,"The city of San Luis Obispo immediately mobilized and set up their vacuum trucks to suck up that sewage and it was I think a very successful response."
Officials say they have completed the clean-up but they continue to warn people to stay away from the contaminated areas until the sites are given the all clear.
Water samples have been taken from the ocean in Avila.
The results should be known tomorrow.
Those health advisories will stay posted, at Avila Beach, until test results show the water is safe.


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