Officials at the California Men’s Colony outside San Luis Obispo say that Friday’s spill of raw sewage from a prison-owned sewer line released less sewage than previously estimated, and that less also spilled into Chorro Creek.
On Friday evening, prison and county officials reported that a backup in a sewer line owned by the facility but located on property belonging to the Camp San Luis Obispo state National Guard base leaked about 85,000 gallons of sewage.
Some of that waste went into nearby Chorro Creek, which flows into the Morro Bay Estuary, though officials did not have an estimate of how much on Friday.
The spill occurred at about 7:45 a.m., and repairs were completed by 4:30 p.m., the facility’s plant manager said.
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On Monday, CMC spokeswoman Lt. Monica Ayon said that local officials now estimate a total of 72,000 gallons of sewage spilled from the pipeline, approximately 6,000 gallons of which reached the dry creek bed. Ayon said that amount was calculated based on the spill rate of approximately 3,000 gallons per hour and the two hours it took to establish a diversion berm from the creek bed.
“(CMC staff) had a quick response with other county agencies assisting and were able to clear the line enough for us to go back to normal program within a few hours and completely clear it within 24 hours,” Ayon wrote in an email.
Staff from the county Office of Emergency Services, the Public Health Department and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board were immediately notified of the spill, and cleanup crews remained at the scene throughout the day.
Ayon said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had not yet received notice of any fines or penalties from regulators as of Monday. Representatives from the Regional Water Quality Control Board could not be reached for comment Monday, and the spill was not yet listed on the agency’s online database of sewer overflows.