A state water quality official told the City Council on Tuesday night that the city would be open to crippling lawsuits if it didn't stop pollution in Aliso Creek.
"It's easy for the city to say 'It looks like a general fecal mess out there,' " said Wayne Baglin, chairman of the San Diego region of the California Regional Water Control Board, which oversees the area's water quality. "But you need to recognize you're the undisputed leader in contamination levels in the entire watershed. Others don't even come close."
Public Works Director Ken Montgomery said the city would retest the water before the council's next meeting. He also said he would investigate whether polluted storm water running from a city pipe could be diverted into sewer lines and treated before being released into the ocean.