San Clemente Sewage Spill Closes Part of North Beach

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A 300-gallon sewage spill Thursday morning near North Beach in San Clemente has closed the ocean to surfers and swimmers.

The spill occurred about 9:30 a.m. when a city sewage line on El Oriente and Avenida de La Paz became blocked with roots and debris, said City Manager Michael W. Parness. The sewage overflowed into a storm drain and reached the ocean. City crews had the spill contained within 10 minutes, he said.

Heavy rain made it difficult for crews to immediately capture the sewage, Parness said.

“When it’s raining like that, you can’t block it because you’re dealing with thousands of gallons of water in the street,” Parness said. “It’s very likely the ocean would have been closed anyway because of the rains.”


The beach is closed 1,000 feet in each direction from the Amtrak station. The area will reopen when tests show the water meets health standards, according to county Health Care Agency officials.