Southern California

Vacation Ruined? Sewage Leak Shuts Off Water, “Paralyzing” Business on Catalina Island

Tourists were forced to use porta-potties because of the problem.

Update: Water services were restored to Avalon Friday evening, and cleanup was underway.

A sewage spill around Avalon on Santa Catalina Island off Southern California closed restaurants and beaches Friday, leaving tourists and business owners "paralyzed" by the problem. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said the cause of the problem was a broken pipe. The water hadn't been fully restored by 11 p.m. Friday.

H2-Uh Oh: Sewage Leak Shuts Down Water on Catalina Island

While beachgoers were told to stay out of the water, many business owners on the island were understandably frustrated. 

Maggie, the owner of Maggie's Blue Rose Mexican Restaurant, said the problem has "paralyzed the island."

She says she and her husband, who also owns Steve's Steakhouse, have already lost thousands of dollars. 

The city was handing out free water bottles to tourists and residents, and is setting up porta-potties throughout the city.  The sheriff's department said water bottles were being handed out at the Green Pier in Mid-Avalon, but no plans on importing emergency water supplies to Catalina had been made as of Friday afternoon.

Porta-potties were set up at the Green Pier, Cabrillo Mole, Casino Dive Park and near Wrigley Stage. 

Avalon Grille was able to serve dinner after 7:30 p.m. when the restaurant got clearance from the health department to resume services.

Information on beach conditions is available 24 hours a day on the County's beach advisory hotline 1-800-525-5662, or at this site

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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