Rains cause wastewater overflow in Carlsbad

Estimated 300 gallons a minute spilled before 1 pm
Posted at 5:10 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 20:10:32-05

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Heavy rains are being blamed for a pipe rupture Tuesday that sent 300 gallons per minute of wastewater into a nearby creek in Carlsbad.

Crews from the Vallecitos Water District were called to the site of the overflow near Carrillo Way and Melrose Drive at about 9 a.m., according to a release from Chris Robbins, public information supervisor of the Vallecitos Water District.

Crews arrived to find a 16-inch wastewater line had ruptured, sending an estimated 300 gallons per minute of wastewater spilling into an adjacent, seasonal creek. 

Crews were able to reduce the amount of wastewater using portable pumps and sandbags once they arrived, and diverted the flow to a nearby wastewater manhole.

By 1:10 p.m., the flow of wastewater into the creek had been stopped.

Crews were not able to immediately give an estimated time of completion on repairs.

The cause of the spill is believed to have been caused by an excessive flow of water from yesterday's storm, which saw 3.24 inches of rain in Carlsbad, according to the National Weather Service - San Diego.

While the pipe that ruptured was gravity fed, it was slightly pressurized since it connects to the main pipe that leads to the regional wastewater treatment plant in Carlsbad.

No Vallecitos customers were affected by the spill, Robbins said. Signs have been posted from the spill site to Carlsbad's shoreline, where the creek empties and poses a water contact danger.