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San Diego Researching New Backup Power Plan For Water Facilities

A dead fish found at the Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a casualty of the sewage s...

Credit: San Diego Coastkeeper

Above: A dead fish found at the Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a casualty of the sewage spill that occurred following the San Diego County-wide blackout.

The examination into a 3.2-million-gallon sewage spill begins at San Diego City Hall.


Gabriel Solmer is legal director for San Diego Coastkeeper

Chris McKinney is deputy director of San Diego's wastewater treatment and disposal program.


The city of San Diego's Public Utilities Department is reassessing its reliance on San Diego Gas & Electric to provide backup power to municipal water facilities, according to a report to be delivered today to a City Council Committee.

The report by the department's director and assistant director -- Roger Bailey and Ann Sasaki -- stems from the Sept. 8 blackout that led to spills at two sewer pumping stations. It will be delivered to the City Council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee.

Department officials plan to research whether to install their own power generation systems at the site of water facilities. Many of them have redundant power supplies fed by separate SDG&E substations, but that didn't help when the widespread outage affected all substations.

According to the report, about 2.6 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Sorrento Valley from one station and eventually flowed to Los Penasquitos Creek. Another 870,000 gallons spilled from the other station into the Sweetwater River.

The report does not say how long it will take department officials to evaluate their options.

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