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OXNARD : Grease Buildup Causes Sewage Spills

Household grease clogged two eight-inch sewage pipes and caused two raw sewage spills in Oxnard last month, officials said.

In the first of the two spills, about 2,000 gallons of sewage seeped onto city streets May 21 at Santa Lucia Avenue and Balsam Street, said Robert Montgomery, environmental control supervisor for the Oxnard sewage treatment plant on Perkins Road at Ormond Beach.

That spill washed into a storm drain that eventually empties into the ocean at Ormond Beach, but was treated with chlorine and probably dried up before reaching the ocean, Montgomery said.

On May 22, about 1,000 gallons of raw sewage seeped out of a manhole and onto the street in the 3000 block of Via Marina Avenue.

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The sewage was treated with chlorine and washed into a storm drain that empties into Mandalay Bay. Tests of the water revealed bacteria counts 160 times the state’s standard for safe water for swimming, but no warning notices were posted, Montgomery said.

Montgomery said he believed that the spill did not pose a health hazard because that area of Mandalay Bay is not used for swimming. He said he contacted the county Environmental Health Department, which decides whether to post beaches, and “this time they didn’t.”

The bacteria dissipated within 24 hours, he said.


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