Vallecitos Water District Cleans Up Waste Spill into San Marcos Creek



San Marcos, CA – The Vallecitos Water District experienced an overflow of approximately 1950 gallons of wastewater solids this morning that spilled out of a pressurized sewer pipe located on Redwing Street in San Marcos and into a storm drain that releases into San Marcos Creek. Vallecitos crews acted quickly to contain the spill by placing barriers around the storm drain to minimize the amount of solids that flowed to the creek. Further, the crews were able to collect 825 gallons of the spill, so that only 1125 gallons went downstream.

The cause of the spill was due to a break in a six inch pressurized pipe. The pipe is used to transport solid material that is removed during the wastewater treatment process at the District’s Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility in Carlsbad to the Encina Wastewater Authority, near the coast in Carlsbad, where it is further treated and recycled. The pipe has exceeded its useful life and as a result, the Vallecitos Board of Directors approved the replacement of the entire solids line pipe. The replacement pipe is funded and the design is complete.

A customer notified Vallecitos staff of the spill at 7:10 A.M. Crews arrived at the spill site and had a pumping truck collecting the spill at 7:36 A.M. Investigation of the cause began immediately once crews were on-site. The remaining solids in the line were completely drained back to the Meadowlark plant to prevent further release by 7:45 A.M. The spill was completely contained by 8:23 A.M.

Cleanup and recovery is currently in progress with pumping trucks to remove as much of the solid material as possible from the storm drain, and the pipe is in the process of being repaired. The proper agencies have been notified and per the request of the County Department of Environmental Health, Vallecitos crews posted signs along San Marcos Creek at the La Costa Country Club Golf Course, where human contact may be possible.


About Vallecitos Water District: As an independent, special district, Vallecitos is dedicated to providing water, wastewater and reclamation services to approximately 97,000 people in a 45-square-mile area that includes San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; portions of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; and other surrounding unincorporated areas. The public is invited to Board meetings, taking place at 4 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at Vallecitos’ Administration Building – 201 Vallecitos de Oro, San Marcos. Board meetings are also televised on San Marcos TV. Visit for a complete programming schedule.

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