Approximately 10,000 gallons of sewage were released into the Santa Rosa Creek near Cambria on Dec. 17 before making their way to the ocean at Moonstone Beach Park.
The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department issued a warning that the public was to avoid contact with water from the creek or near the ocean outlet due to the spill. According to a department news release, sewage escaped the wastewater treatment plant operated by the Cambria Community Services District after a blown breaker in an electrical panel caused a power outage. Following the outage, the plant operations shifted to an emergency generator before main power was returned, but only after some sewage had escaped.
The public health notice was posted for about 72 hours following the spill, according to an official with County Environmental Health Services.
The Health Department made no determination on the legality of the incident and referred the matter to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, which has the authority to impose fines on an agency that releases toxins into state waters.