Huntington Harbour closed after sewage spill estimated at 250 gallons

A sign warns pedestrians not to swim.
A sign warns pedestrians not to swim in the contaminated water at Huntington Harbour on Wednesday in Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The waters of Huntington Harbour were closed Wednesday, but only to swimmers and aquatic recreational activities due to what is estimated to be a 250-gallon sewage spill that occurred Tuesday.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Carey said officials were notified at around 1 p.m. of the spill, which the Orange County Health Care Agency said was caused by an accidental release of a boat’s holding tank in the harbor. Waters are closed in only 100 yards north and south of the Warner Public Dock in Huntington Beach.

“It’s a fairly minimal impact. It’s essentially just that one isolated area and they’ve closed it out of precaution,” Carey said Wednesday. “Boats can still go through freely.”

At the site Wednesday afternoon, waters were still as boats remained largely moored in private docks and there were no signs of swimmers, surfers or paddleboarders. Bright yellow signage was posted at the railings adjacent to the docks.

Carey said sewage spills in Huntington Beach are relatively uncommon, but do occur once every few years.

No other areas in the city were impacted.

County supervising environmental health specialist Lauren Robinson said the affected spill location will remain closed until water sample results meet California Ocean Water Contact Sports Standards issued by the state department of public health. The first sample was taken Tuesday.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.