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Sewage Spill in San Diego One of State's Worst

March 06, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — In one of the largest sewage spills in state history, a pipe leading from an unreliable sewage pump station in San Diego's burgeoning northern tier ruptured Thursday, causing the station to shut down as millions of gallons of raw sewage flowed into a nearby lagoon and eventually into the ocean.

City water officials, calling the incident tantamount to a disaster, said that eventually 40 million to 60 million gallons of sewage will wash into the lagoon and ocean before the pipe is repaired in two to three days and the pump station is back on line.

The spillage into the ocean of 19.5 million gallons of sewage a day--the equivalent of what is produced by a city of 200,000--is among the largest ever in California, said Terry Wilson, a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco.

The pipe broke Thursday morning after the pump station suffered three weather-related power interruptions between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., said Yvonne Rehg, spokeswoman for the city's Water Utilities Department.

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