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Sewage & wastewater spills into ocean at Shell Beach, Oceano

People are advised to avoid the area
Posted at 3:47 AM, Mar 11, 2020

San Luis Obispo County public health officers are warning people to avoid the ocean in Pismo Beach and Oceano after some 13,000 gallons of sewage and treated wastewater spilled into the water.

The County of San Luis Obispo Health Agency says between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, approximately 8,000 gallons of sewage was released from a manhole at Ocean Ave. and Morro Ave. near Eldwayen Ocean Park in the Shell Beach.

The sewage went into a nearby storm drain that leads directly to the ocean, according to officials.

Health officers say the spill was caused by heavy rains that overwhelmed the lift station. The spill stopped when the rain stopped.

Meantime, some 5,000 gallons of treated wastewater was accidentally released from the South SLO County Sanitation District wastewater treatment plant in Oceano between 4:30 and 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The spill is impacting Meadow Creek, Arroyo Grande Creek and Oceano Beach about 570 yards south of Pier Ave.

Officials do not know what caused the unintentional release of treated wastewater and are currently investigating.

In light of the spills, the public health department is telling people to stay out of the water off Eldwayen Ocean Park in Shell Beach and at Oceano Beach near Arroyo Grande Creek.

Health officials say signs have been posted at the beaches impacted by the spills waning people not to get in the ocean there.

Additionally, health officers advise people to avoid getting in the ocean during and 72 hours after rain storms.