Spill of 1,800 gallons of sewage forces closure of Torrey Pines State Beach

Torrey Pines State Beach, shown in 2016.
Torrey Pines State Beach, shown in 2016.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Ocean water at the north end of the state beach off-limits

A sewage spill near the coast sent some 1,800 gallons of effluent into a storm drain earlier this week, forcing officials to close a stretch of Torrey Pines State Beach.

The county Department of Environmental Health on Wednesday, Aug. 12, said the ocean at the northern boundary of the state beach is off-limits, and will remain so until it is safe to get back into the water.

The site, north of Carmel Valley Road, is in the city of Del Mar.

The spill started just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, near the intersection of Fourth Street and South Camino del Mar, according to spokesman Arian Collins for the city of San Diego, which controls the sewage system where the problem started.

The wastewater flowed into the storm drain. Del Mar city staffers blocked and diverted the runoff to nearby manhole, and City of San Diego Public Utilities crews cleaned up the area. The spill was under control by 9:20 a.m.

A root blockage in a sewer line appears to have been the culprit that caused the spill.

In all, 3,850 gallons spilled. Of that, 2,050 gallons were recovered, Collins said, and 1,800 gallons reached the ocean.

The closure remains in effect — and signs warning of contaminated water will stay up — until the testing reveals the water is safe for swimmers.

— Teri Figueroa is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

Updates:

3:38 PM, Aug. 13, 2020: This story was updated.


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