LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- A joint in a sewage line failed at a pumping station in Laguna Beach, sending an estimated 250,000 of gallons of effluent onto streets Wednesday and, eventually, into the ocean, prompting health officials to declare four miles of coastline off-limits.
The spill occurred at a pumping station on Galen Drive about 2 a.m., and the sewage ran into a storm drain leading to the ocean until about 10 a.m., according to Larry Honeybourne of the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Two sections of 12-inch pipe separated, said Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jason Kravetz, who said the odor "was pretty bad this morning but has definitely dissipated" since the flow was shut off.
The sewage flowed onto Glenneyre Street and into the ocean via a drain at Bluebird Beach, and city officials closed Glenneyre between Bluebird Canyon Road and Calliope Street.
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Galen Drive was closed for a time to accommodate repair crews, but was reopened about 2:30 p.m., Kravetz said.
The pumping station normally handles about 3 million gallons per day, Honeybourne said.
It was not immediately clear how long it would take to replace the damaged section of pipe and to undo a bypass that enabled raw sewage tobe sent to a treatment plant.
The surf between Crescent Bay Drive and Camel Point was closed to swimming, according to the HCA. Honeybourne said he expected thecoastline to be off limits until Friday evening at least.
Bacteria testing will be done daily, he said, noting that winds, currents and other variables affect how quickly bacteria dissipates in the ocean.
For current beach information, go to ocbeachinfo.com.