Pipe Leak Forces Evacuation of 100

A pipe that leaked about 1,500 gallons of heavily chlorinated water Friday forced the evacuation of about 100 people from nearby businesses, but there were no injuries, authorities said.

The spill occurred shortly before 8 a.m. at the Irvine Ranch Water District plant at Warner Avenue and Fairview Street, said Marilyn Smith, a spokeswoman for the district.

Santa Ana firefighters evacuated three businesses for about two hours. The businesses share the office park with the district.

"It gives off a strong chlorine odor," Smith said. "It was obvious to everyone in the area."

A hazardous materials crew contained the spill by 10 a.m., dechlorinating the water with chemicals and placing dirt berms to keep the solution from running into storm drains, fire officials said.

Crews later vacuumed the water into a special truck.

Water service was not interrupted for district customers in Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana Heights, Foothill Ranch, Newport Coast, Portola Hills and Orange.

The cause of the break, in a 2-inch rubber line, is under investigation, district officials said.

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