Public Works Crews Clean Up Sewage Spill In Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) - Crews cleaned up a dry creek bed Friday after at least 75,000 gallons of sewage spilled the night before, an official said.

Willow tree roots apparently clogged the main sewer line, which caused sewage to spill out of a manhole, Santa Barbara County Public Works spokesman William Boyer said.

The spill, which occurred in Orcutt, about six miles south of Santa Maria, was reported around 6 p.m. Thursday and fixed by midnight, Boyer said. The wastewater was contained in and absorbed by the creek bed.

Officials posted signs advising the public to stay away from the creek, Boyer said.

About 4,000 gallons of sewage also spilled into a drainage channel in Rancho Bernardo about 25 miles north of San Diego, according to San Diego County environmental health officials.

A malfunction at a pump station caused the spill, which prompted officials to post warnings alerting boaters and anglers at nearby Lake Hodges.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-06-07-08 0144EDT

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