West Coast
Beach goers stop to read the signs posted along the boardwalk at Main Beach in Laguna Beach on Friday, November 29, 2019, following a sanitary sewer leak of about 4 million gallons of raw sewage in Laguna Beach. The Orange County Healthcare Agency closed the ocean and bay areas from Pelican Point at Crystal Cove in Newport Beach to the Poche Beach in Dana Point and San Clemente. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Record sewage spill hits Laguna Beach just after council approves more funding for sewer maintenance

Beaches from Newport to Dana Point will remain closed at least through Monday following a 1.4 million gallon sewage spill in Laguna Beach – the city’s worst in recent time.

“We want people to avoid contact with any affected water,” Nichole Quick, health officer with the Orange County Public Healthcare Agency, said Friday. “People should honor the closure. We expect them to remain closed through the weekend.”

The spill – downgraded from the 4 million gallons first reported on Thursday, Nov. 28 – occurred after a valve on a 24-inch pipe that carries sewage from northern Laguna and Emerald Bay to a treatment plant at the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park broke on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at a section that follows Aliso Creek near the sixth and seventh hole at Ben Brown’s Golf Course. The sewage spewed onto the course and then into the creek, carrying it down through the canyon to the ocean.

A crew of about 20 to 30 people worked in shifts since Wednesday to get the leak stopped. On Friday, Nov. 29, at 12:15 p.m, city officials announced the broken valve had been replaced. Personnel from the South Orange County Wastewater Authority, the South Coast Water District and city staff assisted in the repair.

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