Carlsbad beach reopens after sewage scare


CarlsbadStateBeachBy City News Service

Carlsbad State Beach was reopened Sunday after authorities determined no sewage from a ruptured pipeline had reached the Pacific Ocean.

Signs warning of possible contamination that were posted after thousands of gallons of sewage spilled on Thursday, were removed from the beach near the Encinas Creek outlet today, said Debbie Biggs, director of environmental compliance for the Encina Wastewater Authority.

The sanitation agency estimated that 252,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a storm drain when a 4 1/2-foot-diameter concrete pipe collapsed on the grounds of Encina Wastewater Treatment Plant in Carlsbad on Thursday, causing an overflow that continued for almost 14 hours.

Crews suctioned 388,800 gallons of water from the drain and another 166,400 gallons from the nearby Encinas Creek, which the pollution could also have reached, Biggs said.

Although the creek flows into the ocean, which is less than a quarter-mile from the treatment plan, water samples from the ocean were clean, Biggs said.

Work began yesterday to repair the sewage line, and repairs are expected to be finished Monday, she said.

Sewage service will not affected, but Carlsbad, Encinitas and Vista residents were asked to reduce their water usage, according to the Encina Wastewater Authority.

Traffic was blocked Sunday from Avenida Encinas between Palomar Airport Road and Poinsettia Lane, and the stretch of road is expected to remain off-limits to motorists tomorrow.

Wastewater authority personnel are working to determine the cause of the failure.