The Reader Uncovered Same Navy Waste Water Flushing Over Sunset Cliffs Back Last April

by on November 11, 2015 · 1 comment

in Environment, History, Military, Ocean Beach, San Diego

PL waste water reader 4-2-15

Article in SD Reader, April 2, 2015.

The little flap that we helped uncover recently over Navy waste water being flushed out over Sunset Cliffs and into the ocean seemed to have been the first exposure of this practice by the Navy, the flushing of potable water.

Yet, we have found an article from last April in the San Diego Reader that discussed the very same flushing at the same location.

Look at the photos of the water cascading out from the cliffs. It’s the same location.

Here’s the OB Rag posted photo of the site from October 2015:

waste water PL andrew 10-24-15

Here’s the Reader photo from late March 2015:

PL waste water pic Reader

On April 2, writer Jimi Olsen wrote:

Mid-afternoon on March 31, water flowed over the edge of Sunset Cliffs onto an area beach for at least two hours. There has been no rain in the area since March 1, according to the National Weather Service.

Periodically, this reporter and others have witnessed runoff at this area for up to two days. Now we have video.

Olsen goes on, attempting to connect the water run-off with the illness suffered by 4 surfers – one whom died.

The last time water ran off this bluff was the weekend before Christmas [2014] during a rainstorm. At least four surfers got sick. Two went to the hospital and one, Barry Ault, died. The Centers for Disease Control got involved and monitored Ault and the other surfer that was hospitalized. They were diagnosed as having contracted an infection from the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.

The bacteria is present in ocean water and thrives in brackish water or when fresh water runs off into the sea. Warm to moderate ocean temperatures also help the bacteria to bloom.

Humans usually come in contact with Vibrio bacteria from eating raw oysters. …

Meanwhile, according to maps, tracing the canyon above the runoff site leads to Building 60, the US Space & Naval Warfare Systems site on the west side of Catalina Boulevard.

Nearby are two water tanks and a pipeline operated by the City of San Diego Wastewater Treatment Plant; however, it’s unlikely that any unintentional discharge would have flowed into the canyon that led to the bluff.

Around mid-day on April 1, the video was sent to Brian O’Rourke, media relations officer at Navy Region-Southwest. He said he would look into the situation but as of 4 p.m. on April 2, he had yet to respond.

Water-resources engineer Brandi Outwin-Beals at the Regional Water Quality Control Board reviewed the video and characterized the flow as “significant.”

Issues raised by the more recent exposure of the flushing have not been resolved. Why is the Navy releasing so much good water in a time of drought? What are the consequences to plant life and sea creatures of pouring 1,000s of gallons of fresh water into the ocean? And is the military causing undue erosion to protected cliffs?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

PL Local November 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

I am pretty skeptical about this “Routine Flushing of Potable Water”.

Why did they flush this water for 2 days?

Why did Barry Ault die?

Why did 3 other surfers get sick?

Why hasn’t Brian O’Rourke done anything? It is Mid-November, and he was contacted in April !

If your Water-resources engineer says the flow is “significant”, then why aren’t you listening to him!


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