San Diego County health department employees were working Tuesday night to plug a leak of raw sewage that escaped from a feeder sewer line near Mission Bay Park, backed into a drainage system and emptied into the ocean at Ocean Beach.
Ken Calvert, a spokesman for the county's Department of Health Services, said apparently a block in a lateral line about 3:30 p.m. caused the sewage to overflow into a main drainage system near Bacon Street and West Point Loma Boulevard that empties into the ocean near the San Diego River and Ocean Beach Park.
Calvert said about 20 gallons of sewage per minute was being dumped into the ocean and that a 600-foot area of oceanfront was cordoned off. Health department workers were attempting to unseal the blockage, which Calvert said should be completed by this morning.
"We don't believe it's dangerous unless people get in it, and that's why we posted the area to keep people out," Calvert said. He added that it was difficult to determine what blocked the line. "Probably somebody flushed something they shouldn't have," he said.