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FULLERTON : Oil-Water Mixture Flows Onto Street

A backed-up pipeline sent more than 100 gallons of an oil-water mixture bubbling from beneath three manhole covers Tuesday, forcing officials to divert traffic as they cleaned up the mess.

The smelly black substance began flowing onto State College Boulevard between Commonwealth and Chapman avenues about 2 p.m.

Fullerton firefighters erected several dirt dikes in an effort to contain the mixture and prevent it from oozing into storm drains.

Only a small amount got into the drains, officials said.

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Suction hoses were used to remove the stuff from the street.

Fire officials said they aren’t sure what caused the pipeline to back up.

The pipe sends oil and water from a Unocal oil field in Fullerton to a clarification plant in Anaheim, said Sylvia Palmer, spokeswoman for the Fullerton Fire Department.

Palmer said fire officials are investigating whether the oil mixture leaked out of a valve or whether the pipeline ruptured.

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