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LOCAL : Aliso Beach Remains Closed

June 26, 1989| From Times wire services

Sections of Aliso Beach may remain closed through the July 4 holiday weekend because of a sewage pipeline break that dumped more than 900,000 gallons of raw effluent into the surf, a county health official said today.

Water authorities said they will replace a 450-foot length of the aging concrete pipe that ruptured last week, spilling sewage into Aliso Creek before temporary repairs could be made.

A mile-long stretch of Aliso Beach remained closed today for the fifth straight day. Signs were posted warning of contaminated water conditions, and lifeguards continued to turn people away from the beach, authorities said.

Mike Wehner, water quality program chief in the environmental health division of the Orange County Health Care Agency, said sunny weather and heavy surf could help speed up the dissipation of sewage along the popular beachfront, but he could not predict whether the entire stretch of sand would be open by next weekend.

"We expect portions to be opened, but we don't know if we'll see the entire area opened," Wehner said. "At this point, it's too tough to call. We can hope, but we won't know for sure for a while."

Tests conducted Friday indicated extensive contamination along the beach from Treasure Island Point on the north to Table Rock on the south, he said. More tests were to be conducted today, with preliminary results expected by Tuesday afternoon, Wehner said.

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