Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 1:30 pm | Fair 71º


Local News

County Crews Get to the Root of Sewer Line Break

A tree clogs the line; officials estimate 75,000 to 100,000 gallons of wastewater spilled.

Crews from the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department and the Laguna Sanitation District worked throughout the night Thursday and Friday to correct problems with a main sewer line where a spill occurred Thursday night.

Willow tree roots apparently clogged the sewer line — first constructed in 1960 — and that caused the main sewer trunk line to shift, causing a backup and the spill, county officials said. A nearby resident notified the county at 6 p.m. Thursday that sewage was coming from a manhole, and crews were on scene within about 15 minutes to begin working on the problem.

The county has notified all appropriate federal, state and regional agencies. Work crews successfully realigned the trunk line, but they eventually may need to replace a section of pipe.

County officials estimate 75,000 to 100,000 gallons of wastewater was involved in the sewage spill.  The spill was contained in the dry creek bed area of Orcutt Creek near Clark Avenue and Foxenwood Lane, off Highway 135 in Orcutt.

Most of the waste water was absorbed into the dry creek bed, but work crews worked Friday to remove any solid debris and to continue work on the sewer line.

No injuries were reported and the public was not in any harm, public works officials said. Nearby homes were not affected. Cautionary information signs are being posted along about a 1,000-foot section of the creek to advise the public to stay out until the creek bed fully dries.

William Boyer is the communications director for Santa Barbara County.

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