Sick of Sewage in San Diego
More than a decade ago, San Diego County was home to daily sewage spills, earning the region a dubious distinction in local, state and national publications. That is, until San Diego Coastkeeper stepped into the scene.
In San Diego, a vast underground network of pipes collects all of the waste generated by residents and businesses. In the City of San Diego, we have nearly 3,000 miles of these sewer pipes that snake underneath our streets. Eventually these pipes move wastewater to the Point Loma Treatment Plant, which treats and discharges into the ocean 150 million gallons of wastewater a day.
Chronic sewage spills happen because San Diego’s antiquated system literally bursts at the seams with the onset of rainwater volume. These spills from the pipes or treatment plant lead to raw or partially treated sewage discharged directly into our creeks, lagoons, or coastal areas.
When sewage spills into San Diego’s water, it carries with a variety of pathogens (microbes that make us ill). This puts the health of swimmers, surfers, and other people coming into contact with the water at greater risk of illness, like gastroenteritis, and ear, eye, nose, and throat infections.
In fact, we’ve already reduced sewage spills in the City of San Diego by 90 percent and beach advisories in San Diego County by 77 percent.
You can say no to sewage, too
- Don’t put fats, oils or grease down the drain. These substances are a major cause of sewer pipe blockages that lead to spills. Instead, put them in the garbage and follow city or county regulations.
- If you own a home, have your lateral line inspected. Damaged lateral lines are also a major contributor of spills in the collection system.
- Support you local agencies efforts to upgrade your wastewater infrastructure.
- Donate to Coastkeeper to fund our fight to stop sewage spills.