Major sewage spills in San Luis Obispo County

December 19, 2010

Health officials are warning the public to stay away from San Luis Obispo Creek, Arroyo Grande Creek, Meadow Creek, Oceano Lagoon and places where the creeks drain into the ocean because of two weekend sewage spills.

The catastrophic failure of a six inch pump line at the San Luis Obispo Reclamation Plant on Prado Road on Saturday evening resulted in the release of about 15,000 gallons of sewage into San Luis Obispo Creek.

A second sewage spill occurred when the effluent pump at the South San Luis Obispo Sanitation District failed. As a result, clogged sewage lines caused the release of an unknown quantity of sewage.

The plant is currently using a large diesel power pump in place of the failed effluent pump.

“Sewer lines are backed up and sewage is bubbling out of manhole covers,” said John Wallace, the district’s administrator. “Everything that comes into the plant is being treated.”

The San Luis Obispo County Health Agency said that contact or ingestion of the contaminated waters is likely to make one sick.

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FYI, there was a small (515 gallons) spill in Morro Bay on North Main St. The PW director here said it was the Cayucos Sanitary District’s dedicated sewer main line that overflowed and ran down into a storm drain. Not that it makes much difference, but for the record, it wasn’t the City of Morro Bay that had a spill, so the RWQCB will have to direct its fine to Cayucos, and there will be a fine, you can bet the farm on that.

Well now…. the truth comes out….. looks like the plants manager was too brain dead to order his staff to secure the new flood gates protecting the influent pump room, the ones that we paid so dearly for several years ago that the Wallace Group engineered and had installed. Lets see…4 new electric motors or rebuilding, and some man power should cost the tax payers a nice chunk of change. Add the violation this may bring for the spill caused by human error and there goes the money saved that justified the firing of the lab tech. Guess the Wallace group hasn’t got their $25,000 yet to teach the plants staff how to close the flood gates.. have to work on that one. But wait…the long arm of the law just took away their license to legally perform these lab tests anyhow and now they have to hire a lab tech or have a licensed person come to the plant every day from a outside agency or contract lab, that outta save us some big money. Kind reminds me of a dog chasing his tail, except this isn’t very amusing is it?. Us Oceano folks should are proud of our Administrator and the stellar job he does for close to a $1,000,000 a year.

Like SLOChuck, I also remember this happening before and during time of high runoff from rain. Kind of suspicious. Possibly on purpose. Think about it……what a great way to get rid of something with minimal impact. I’d like to see a few city officials and city contractors (floaters) heading out into shark infested waters next time.

This issue could have been resolved at the January 10, 2005 OCSD meeting when Caltrans informed the Oceano Residents that to fix this problem, it would cost 2.2 million dollers and that Caltrans would be responsible for drainage from State Highway 1 to the Pacific Ocean!

John Wallace in or around 1985 did a drainage study for OCSD that can be seen on my websites if anyone is interested!

The Sanitation Plant on March 20, 2011 has not flooded but check out this YOUTUBE video of the folks in the Oceano Community!

Holy crap ….

Wallace says “Everything that comes into the plant is being treated.”

I read elsewhere that with the broken line, no sewage was reaching the plant for a time.

Both can be true, but is sure seems like a funny thing to say …

Telling the public everything that comes into the plant is being treated is meaningless when everything headed for the plant never makes it. Funny how some people can make statements can make you think everything is under control when it’s as far from OK as it gets. Its called deceiving the public.

Did the storm submerge the pump causing it to fail, and did the line fail due to erosion?

In other words did infiltrating storm waters or other storm events have anything to do with failure #1 or #2?

Isn’t this the place that had a spill last Winter too? How long are the area rate payers going to allow Wallace Group to, in my opinion, run our utilities into the ground and endanger our public health? Impeach Wallace!

I thought it was the OHV people at the dunes dumping sewage? Turns out it’s the Oceano residents flushing straight into the ocean.

Way to pick up two thumbs down in a jiffy, rider

T’wernt me.

Yes, I know… but I do find it highly amusing that Ms. N___ L_______ has made all sorts of accusations about dunes visitors dumping sewage on the beach (that were disproved by County Health ocean water testing), and it turns out it’s her own poop in the ocean! Irony at its best.

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Allegations of water contamination due to RVs dumping sewage proven false

San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Services has discontinued ocean water testing at the Pier 4 location at Oceano Dunes known as OCB10 (one mile south of Arroyo Grande Creek at the camping area). Testing began at the insistence of park detractor, Nell Langford, who proffered false allegations that park visitors were dumping RV sewage tanks on the beach. Not one water quality violation was recorded in over a year of testing, save for one day after a storm when many county beaches also exceeded standards.

Because of empirical test results proving there is no ocean water pollution at Oceano Dunes testing has been discontinued. We’re pleased that this testing occurred and the allegations are cleared up. However, testing is expensive and concerns remain about the cost of investigating the false claim.

Langford had published a YouTube video allegedly depicting the dumping of sewage. In actuality, the video depicts a visitor dumping clear water from a fresh water holding tank which is a common practice to increase gas mileage on the trip home. Langford’s YouTube video was clearly debunked in another YouTube video published by park advocates.

some comments removed, feel free to post them in the unmoderated thread (you know the one) not here, please.

This YOUTUBE video explains the flooding problems in Oceano from State highway 1 to our Pacific ocean and our Sanitation Plant!