Contact: Janice Mandler
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District revises estimate of sewage spill at Descanso pump station
San Rafael (October 5, 2012) — The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District has updated an earlier report regarding a sewage spill Monday at the Descanso pump station. The District’s initial investigation indicated that the majority of an estimated 52,500 gallons of sewage had been prevented from reaching local waterways. After completion of the investigation, it was determined that approximately 13,500 gallons of sewage was released into a slough that feeds into San Pablo Bay.
Shortly after the spill Monday afternoon, vactor equipment was used to retrieve about 10,000 gallons of sewage that had been diverted into a storm water vault. District officials were initially led to believe that the storm drain pumps were turned off during the spill, preventing any of the sewage to leave the site. A subsequent review of PG&E records showed that a pump had switched on twice during the spill, sending the wastewater into the nearby slough. The remainder of the sewage was cleaned up and returned to the wastewater collection system.
The spill which occurred Monday (October 1st) on Descanso Way was reported at 1:05 p.m. A district crew was immediately dispatched to the site and the spill was stopped by 2:30 p.m.
The cause of the spill was a failed force main at the pump station.
The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District is committed to protecting the environment and public health. The District has already replaced the majority of its force mains with high-density polyethylene pipe, which is stronger and more resistant to corrosion. Since 1999, the District has spent approximately $3.5 million on sewer rehabilitation in the Santa Venetia/Gallinas Village area where the spill occurred, including improvements at the Descanso pump station.
The District has notified the appropriate agencies of its updated report on the incident. The District is continuing with sampling and signage has been posted in the area alerting residents as required.