HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASTEWATER OVERFLOW IN CARLSBAD
Carlsbad, CA – Earlier today, the Vallecitos Water District experienced a wastewater overflow near Carillo Way and Melrose Drive in Carlsbad.
Vallecitos crews were first notified of the spill at around 9:00 a.m. this morning. A customer discovered the spill and contacted the City of Carlsbad, which then notified Vallecitos. Upon arrival at the site, Vallecitos crews immediately worked to repair the pipe and divert the wastewater to a nearby wastewater manhole. The use of portable pumps and strategically placed sandbags helped to reduce the amount of wastewater that flowed to an adjacent seasonal creek.
When the spill first occurred this morning, an estimated 300 gallons per minute of wastewater spilled out of the pipe. By 1:10 p.m., crews had stopped all flow to the creek to protect the environment. Due to the excessive amount of groundwater in the area making the repairs difficult, the estimated time to complete the repairs is unknown at this time.
The cause of the spill was a broken 16-inch gravity fed wastewater line, which is believed to have failed due to excessive flows from the recent storm which released 3.24* inches of rain in Carlsbad. During large rain events, rainwater can flow into the sewer system in various ways, including:
- Illegal sewer connections, such as rain gutters that are plumbed to sewer cleanouts instead of into the gutter;
- Saturated soils that can seep groundwater into the sewer system;
- Entry holes and/or seals around manhole covers.Although the broken pipe is normally fed by gravity, it was under some pressure as it is connected to the main pressurized wastewater outfall pipe that leads to the regional wastewater treatment plant in Carlsbad. Vallecitos crews are researching why the section of pipe failed.
No Vallecitos customers were affected by the spill. The proper agencies have been notified by the District. Vallecitos crews have posted signs from the spill site at the creek to the beach in Carlsbad, where the Batiquitos Lagoon releases to the ocean and where human contact may be possible.
* Data obtained from NOAA – National Weather Service San Diego