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Beaches Closed After Blackout Causes Sewage Spills

Crews today worked to contained millions of gallons of sewage that spewed from a pump station -- a result of the massive power outage -- and fouled miles of shoreline from Torrey Pines to Solana Beach.

Waves ripple along the coastline at Torrey Pines State Beach as the tide moves out.
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Above: Waves ripple along the coastline at Torrey Pines State Beach as the tide moves out.

The wastewater overflow at a San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater System pump station on Roselle Street in Sorrento Valley was discovered shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, according to the county Department of Environmental Health.

As of late this morning, crews were still working to get the spill under control, DEH spokesman Mark McPherson said. By then, an estimated 3.2 million gallons of sewage had escaped the sanitation system.

The pollution flowed into Los Penasquitos Lagoon, which empties into the sea off Torrey Pines State Park, near Del Mar.

Also, a smaller sewage spill near Interstate 5 and State Route 54 sent impurities into the Sweetwater River and waters off Bayside Park in Chula Vista and along stretch of San Diego Harbor shoreline accessible from the Silver Strand, according to the DEH.

Signs warning of contamination hazards will stand in all the affected areas until follow-up testing deems the beaches safe for human contact.

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