Major sewage spill leads to health warnings at Oceano beach

Between 160,000 and 180,000 gallons of partially treated sewage was released into the ocean at Oceano Beach this morning.

The release occurred after the chlorination system at the South San Luis Obispo County sewage treatment plant failed. Chlorination systems are used to decontaminate effluent before it is discharged.

The spill occurred between 4 and 7:30 a.m. The partially treated effluent entered the ocean via the plant’s discharge pipe 4,000 feet offshore in 60 feet of water. The release stopped when the chlorination system was restored.

County environmental health officials have posted warning signs at access points along the Oceano beach area. They also took samples of ocean water to determine if the spill caused unhealthy bacteria levels.

The warning signs will stay in place until testing shows the water at Oceano beach meets state safety standards.

This is the second sewage spill in the county in as many days. On Tuesday, 100 gallons of sewage spilled into Stenner Creek in San Luis Obispo due to a blocked sewage line.