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Spill Closes 41/2 Miles of O.C. Beach

April 30, 2006|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

A 4.5-mile stretch of popular Orange County surfing beach will be closed at least until Monday afternoon because an estimated 30 million gallons of treated sewage was discharged too close to shore, officials said.

The closure began early Saturday after the Orange County Sanitation District diverted sewage outflow from a pipe it was repairing more than four miles offshore to a pipe that was one mile offshore.

The span of closed beach is between the Newport Beach Pier and Beach Boulevard. County health officials said the released sewage had been treated and partially disinfected, and that the beach was closed within an hour of the release. They said there were no reports of illness.

The sewage outfall through the nearer pipe lasted from about 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and created a plume of about 30 million gallons. The state requires two days of water sampling to ensure the plume has dissipated before the beach can be reopened.

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