UPDATE 2:28 p.m. Wednesday: A beach closure has been lifted in Shell Beach, a day after an estimated 600 gallons of sewage spilled onto a street, into a storm drain and into the ocean.
The spill was reported about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Indio Drive. The county Public Health Department closed the beach between Silver Shoals Drive and Indio Drive and notified city crews.
Pismo Beach Public Works Director Dwayne Chisam said the spill happened when a valve on an underground sewer line that connected to a lift station malfunctioned and began to seep sewage. The lift station pumps sewage from a lower pipeline to a higher one.
Chisam said new valves were installed and steps have been taken to ensure that if a future leak occurred, sewage would flow into a receiving well and not onto the street. He anticipates the work will cost about $20,000 and be paid for with city wastewater funds.
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A sewage spill happened in the same area last October, when a rubber joint on a bypass pipe failed, releasing 6,000 gallons of raw sewage into a storm drain that leads directly to the ocean.
Original story: The county Department of Environmental Health on Tuesday morning closed the beach between Silver Shoals Drive and Indio Drive in Shell Beach due to a sewage spill.
At 6:15 a.m., about 600 gallons of sewage spilled from the city of Pismo Beach's Sunset Palisades lift station in the 100 block of Indio Drive, said Liberty Amundson, a county environmental health specialist. The spilled sewage went into a storm drain and into the ocean.
Public works personnel have stopped the spill and are working to determine the cause, Amundson said.