Source of Sewage Spill that Closed OB’s Dog Beach Identified

by on September 7, 2022 · 0 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Screen capture of SDRPF video via CBS8

Dog Beach in OB was closed for three days earlier this month due to a sewer spill that occurred up the San Diego River.

It turns out there was a sewage spill into the river from a storm water drain coming from Mission Hills. It not only caused an unusually strong stench but is likely the reason water in the area turned a milky color.

A public works spokesperson told CBS 8 the sewage seep, as reported by Abbie Alford, “was caused by roots in the line causing 10,800 gallons of sewage to spill,” of which 4,000 gallons were recovered. But still Dog Beach had to be closed due to high bacterial counts. “The city says the sewer line has been repaired to keep another spill from happening again.”

But it wasn’t the city that discovered the spill. Neighbors of the river, complaining online about the foul smell, contacted the San Diego River Park Foundation. Folks from the Foundation went out to the river during a clean up on August 27 and found sewage spilling into the river. They took a video of it and shared with CBS 8 what they found.

Sarah Hutmacher, San Diego River Park Foundation Chief Associated Director, explained that, as reported by Alford, “typically the summer heat causes eutrophication which happens when less oxygen is in the water causing an overgrowth of algae or invasive plants such as water lettuce.” Yet, this was different. It was seepage from the spill.

Said Hutmacher: “It’s likely this milky color that we are seeing as result of that spill.”

The San Diego River Park Foundation will continue to monitor the area for any disruption to the habitat because of the sewage spill. To learn more about reporting a tip and volunteering with the SDRPF you can visit their website here.

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