Massive Sewage Spill Creates Big Stink

The spill in Carlsbad is much bigger than first thought

By Michelle Wayland
|  Friday, Oct 22, 2010  |  Updated 1:16 PM PDT
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Raw Video: North County Sewage Spill

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Raw Video: North County Sewage Spill

Aerial footage of a large spill in Carlsbad.
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Signs warning of contamination are posted at Carlsbad State Beach after officials raised an estimated spill from 500 to 60,000 gallons of raw sewage.

The signs are posted at beach access points from 2,000 feet north and south of Batiquitos Lagoon Outlet.

“The water contact closure will remain in place until samples confirm the water is safe for recreational use,” said Leucadia Wastewater District spokesperson Paul Bushee.

The sewage spill happened at 2017 North Highway 101 Tuesday at 5 a.m. and ended at 5.30 a.m. when crews from the Leucadia Wastewater District fixed the pump controller, according to officials.

“The cause of the spill was a lift station failure due to an electrical surge to the pump controller,” said Bushee.

He says the earlier estimation of 500 gallons was made based on visual observations.

“Later analysis of flow volume data yesterday afternoon indicated that up to 60,000 gallons may have made it past the overflow basins to Batiquitos Lagoon,” said Bushee.

Another spill on Oct. 8, sent 5,000 gallons of sewage into streets near the Carlsbad wastewater plant, which is not far from Palomar Airport Road. Later that night, workers installed temporary bypass lines, which rerouted sewage from manholes in the street into the plant. A collapsed trunk line was later blamed for that spill.

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