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Quick Response Keeps San Juan Creek Clean

SCWD crew springs into action to protect local waterway

How do you stop a sewage spill in its tracks? It’s all in a day’s work for South Coast Water District’s (SCWD) Sanitary Operations team, who recently prevented approximately 120 gallons of sewage that was overflowing from a private sewer line from reaching San Juan Creek and eventually draining into the ocean.

“Sewage spills can really have a negative impact on beach communities," said SCWD Collection System Supervisor Chris Newton, noting that stopping spills is just one of the ways that SCWD crews work to protect public health, the environment and the local economy by preventing beach closures. “Our team worked quickly behind the scenes to make sure residents and tourists could enjoy a nice, normal summer weekend at the beach."

In order to contain the sewage overflow, the crew built a sandbag barrier and used special equipment, including VacCon vactor trucks, to vacuum up the sewage and wash down the surrounding area. They then vacuumed up the water and sand that had collected the sewage, recovering 100 percent of the spill. 

In addition, the owner of the private sewer line worked closely with SCWD and a local plumbing company to take steps to prevent a future overflow. District staff monitored the initial repairs overnight to make sure everything was functioning correctly. SCWD responds to private spills as part of our responsibility to try and prevent any sewage from entering local waterways/beaches being a good environmental stewardship.

SCWD would like to recognize our Sanitary Operations team for a job well done and for the work they do to maintain our sanitary sewer system every day. Thank you, Scott Ayers, Nick Beltier, David Chacon, Carlos Fajardo, Jimmy Gomez, Juan Merlo, Chris Newton, Efrem Rodriguez, Felipe Tax, Tom Wilson and Chad Wodarczyk!

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