FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621
Escondido city officials report that on Sunday afternoon, August 28, 2011, between 5:22 p.m. and 5:47 p.m., an electrical failure at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility resulted in a spill of 250,000 gallons of sewage into Escondido Creek. An Uninterruptible Power Supply System (UPS) failed, which controlled a computer system for the influent pump station. This, in turn, prevented alarms from being sent that would have alerted the plant operator about the spill.
The sewage flowed into Escondido Creek, which flows in to the San Elijo Lagoon. Escondido city personnel will be monitoring the creek for a period of time, testing for bacterial levels. Warning signs were posted by Escondido city crews and will remain in place until testing shows that the water is safe for recreational use.
Officials at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility have begun implementing additional safe guards to prevent a similar spill from occurring in the future. This includes installing advance notification systems in some manholes at the plant, as well as redesign of the UPS wiring.