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Storm Drain Spill Clears Up in Laguna Beach


LAGUNA BEACH — A mysterious spill from a storm drain at Fisherman's Cove stopped Wednesday as inexplicably as it had begun on Friday.

Most of the spill appears to have been ground water that leaked into the joints of the 72-inch storm drain, City Manager Kenneth C. Frank said.

"It appears that somehow some sewage got into it, but not to a heavy degree," he said.

Frank said that city geologists walked through the storm drain and found ground water leaking from a blocked, six-inch pipe beneath the larger drain. Within hours of cleaning out the smaller pipe, Frank said, the flow onto the beach stopped.

"That's our best guess," he said.

The small amounts of coliform that investigators found in the water may have come from an old residential septic tank used before the city put in sewer lines, or a blocked city sewer line, Frank said.

"There are no indications of leaks in any of our sewer lines," he said.

A mile-long stretch of beach that was closed by the Orange County Health Care Agency on Monday probably will be open by the weekend, Frank said.

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