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Sewage enters Chorro Creek following spill at California Men's Colony

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-11 18:00:11-05

The weekend storm caused sewage to be released into Chorro Creek from the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo overnight.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department said the spill of a “large, unknown volume of primary treated sewage” started around midnight Sunday and was stopped about nine hours later when the plant was said to be functioning normally.

Public health says the heavy rain caused equipment to malfunction, allowing sewage to overflow from the sewer treatment plant.

Water samples will be taken from the Oceano on Monday at Morro Bay City Beach and Morro Strand State Beach.

Following significant rainstorms, people are advised to avoid contact with ocean water for at least three days.

“Rainstorm runoff is known to transport high levels of disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa from the watershed and urban areas to the ocean.  Such organisms carried into the ocean can cause skin, respiratory, and intestinal problems.  Young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to these waterborne pathogens,” public health said in a press release. “Surfers, swimmers and others are advised to avoid contact with ocean water during this period, especially in areas close to creeks, rivers, storm drains and other runoff outlets that empty into the ocean. ”