UPDATE: Raw sewage spills into ocean at Shell Beach

Update: Signs warning people of a sewage spill in a Shell Beach neighborhood were removed Sunday evening, two days after an estimated 6,000 gallons of sewage were released into a storm drain that leads directly to the ocean.

The spill was reported to Pismo Beach city staff about 8:20 p.m. Friday after someone smelled sewage in the area of 96 Indio Drive, according to a news release from the county health agency.

The spill happened when a rubber joint on a bypass pipe failed, city Public Works Director Dwayne Chisam said Tuesday.

The city had been using bypass piping in the area since Oct. 11 while crews made some repairs to a lift station, but the work was completed by Friday afternoon, and the bypass piping system had been turned off.

“The piping system had been operating most of the week, and we had no issues with it,” Chisam said. “So we had no indication that there was a problem.”

The maintenance project on the lift station, a pumping station that raises sewage from a lower pipeline to a higher one, will likely cost about $15,000, he said.

Original story:

Six thousand gallons of raw sewage spilled into the ocean Friday near 96 Indio Drive in Shell Beach, according to the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency.

The Department said people should avoid contact with the water near the storm drain where the spill occurred.

The spill was the result of a failed bypass pipe.