Sewage Spill hits Contra Costa County shoreline

February 25, 2009 8:20:54 PM PST
This has been quite a terrible past week for keeping our bay waters clean and user-friendly. Last week about 500,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the bay from a leaky pipe at a Fort Baker treatment plant in Sausalito. Now signs posted at Point Isabel warn to stay away from a new spill - close to one million gallons are floating around the Contra Costa County shoreline. The past weekend's heavy rains overfilled Richmond's sanitary sewer system, causing it to spill and contaminate an area that extends from the Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline to Point Isabel. The warnings include Keller Beach and extend to Brickyard Cove, Sheridan Point, Vincent Park and Shimada Friendship Park.

The city of Richmond initially notified the state emergency management agency Monday morning, saying that 8,900 gallons had spilled - it was later corrected to 890,000.

The spill is a mix of raw sewage and rainwater, according to the Veolia Water Company, which manages Richmond's wastewater treatment plant. It says the spill was mostly rainwater and that the plant is designed to permit a spill over the retaining wall when capacity is exceeded.

Answers will certainly be sought as to why notification to the state was delayed. When a spill happens, it's a requirement to report within two hours and it took many more hours than that - the spill happened between Sunday afternoon and very early Monday morning.

People and their pets are warned to stay out of the Contra Costa County shoreline waters when these warning signs will be removed depends on test results of the water.


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