Shell Beach sewage spill prompts warning

October 15, 2011

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department is warning people to stay away from the ocean and beach in the area of Indio Street in Shell Beach because of a recent sewage spill.

At about 8:20 p.m. on Friday, approximately 6,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a storm drain after a bypass pipe malfunctioned.

The piping was fixed within about an hour.

Health officials said in a press release that it is likely that contact with the ocean waters contaminated by the spill would be “injurious to public health or safety.”

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Sewage calcs are done by using a flow in “MGD” (Million gallons per day number) X 8.34 ( weight of water) X the concentration of solids in milligrams per litre (MGL) So in the case of the Dec SSLOCSD sewage spill which was estimated at 2.8 MGD X 8.34 X an estimate of 350 mgl influent suspended solids you get about 8200 pounds of solids. Keep in mind this isnt ..brown trout..some of its food waste that um.. well…wasent chewed yet, also toilet paper and whatever else got flushed,hosed or rinsed down the sewer that morning.

Well, we are going for different answers, I believe. I was looking for the weight of the entire amount discharged, since it would all have the potential to contaminate.

If we are talking about the December sewage spill, for the total gallons spilled, I was going by my recollections of the CCN numbers given for the SSLOCSD spill (3 million gallons), not John Wallace’s much-lower figures he tried to shove onto sanitation plant manager, Jeff Appleton, who did the calculations to submit to the state, showing 3 million gallons).

The estimated MGD for the flow was 10, although it is noted that it was not an exact number because the flowmeter failed.

Have you see the figures on the actual report of the spill to WRAC? There are two sets of figures: one in the report and one which someone has “edited” in blue ink pen over the actual report numbers to WRAC.


CCN article about gross underestimation by Wallace.

Report to Regional Water Quality Control Board, edited (check out the page with the blue ink) to revise the figures downward. The report also includes a timeline of what happened. Very creepy.)

The report estimates 10.0 to 10.5 MGD (estimated because the flowmeter failed).

It warms my heart to know that this is the same sewer system design that the County is bestowing on us here in Los Osos, only if ours spills it will empty into the Morro Bay estuary. Meaning all that lovely stuff will hang around for a long time. All you bayfront homeowners better sell quick!

Scientists studying raw sewage for undiscovered viruses are absolutely agog at the huge numbers of unknown viruses in raw sewage.

They found 234 they could identify; 17 of them are human pathogens, and a larger number were plant viruses. However, for the majority of the viruses found, the dNA matches no known virus on earth.,0,4110378.story

OT: Hey Mary, there’s a meeting tomorrow at 2:00 PM regarding the huge Price Canyon developement, A. Hill will be there at 3:00, would love to see you there! It’s at the Toucan Terrace Club House off of James Way. For that matter it would be great to see any of you there.

I might just do that. I have a meeting in the morning in SLO, but it will be donebefore 2:00 PM.

I’ve never seen a politician who would run out of “ammunition” for a sewer treatment plant.

I’d say this story is a load of crap, and I’d be right! Three tons of it. Whew!

I get an estimate of about 22.5 tons.

Weight of water: 6 pounds.

Weight of raw sewage: Too many unquantified variables to state for sure. Oil weighs a little less than 8 pounds.

I estimated a figure for the weight to be half-way between that of water and that of oil: 7.5 pounds.

6000 gallons x 7.5 pounds/gallon = 45,000 pounds

45,000 pounds / 2000 pounds/ton = 22.5 tons

That’s really amazing if you think of it that way…22.5 tons of raw sewage, which is worse than actually it just being crap. That includes all the chemicals that wash down from sinks, toilets, showers, whatever. Pretty toxic brew. I would think that the local sea life is going to take a hit from that.

To put that in perspective, however, the December 2010 raw sewage spill at the SSLOCSD was about 3 million tons, from my best recollection.

That calculates out to 11,250 TONS of raw sewage.

I mean, we knew we were getting **it on by John Wallace and The Wallace Group, but 11,250 TONS of **it?

I’d stay away from the local seafood for awhile yet.

Mary: I don’t know if this is going to make a difference in your numbers but water weighs 8.34 lb. per gallon. Here’s a link, just in case:

Either way, as the French say, “Beaucoup de merde.”

Yes, I read that too quickly and saw “pounds” where it says gallons… moving on…

I hope the politicians have not run out of their ammunition.