Up Los Pen Creek without a Paddle

Since Saturday, when Coastkeeper water monitoring volunteers discovered where all that sewage ended up, we have been working hard on follow-up. Our lab staff gave our data and other observations to our Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Department of Fish and Game and State Parks. Yesterday, Coastkeeper staff provided testimony at the Regional Board hearing to pressure our agencies to investigate the incident swiftly and thoroughly.


What Los Penasquitos Creek looked like upstream of the spill site on Saturday, Sept 10 2011. Note the clarity of the water

Our lab staff also continue to track the health of the creek – today, Travis Pritchard, our intrepid Lab Coordinator, went back to the creek to take additional samples. We will continue to monitor the water quality of the creek as clean-up proceeds and after to assess how well the creek is recovering. Tomorrow, we will be going into the lagoon, with our colleagues at State Parks and the Los Penasquitos Lagoon Foundation to follow the sewage plume downstream and measure where the spill potentially degraded the lagoon’s water quality.

We don’t have lab results yet from data’s field samples, but Travis took several photos (see below). The creek still smells of sewage and dead fish still floated on the surface. The water remained opaque and dark grey, distinctly different from what the creek looked like upstream of the spill area. Travis also ran into the crew cleaning up the mess in the creek, and chatted with them. Since Monday evening, crews have been pumping sewage out of the creek and back into the sewer system. The crew on the scene seemed to think that it would be several more days before the clean up would be complete. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more as our lab results come out!



Los Penasquitos Creek where the sewage-laden water has ponded, Sept 15, 2011.


Roselle St, where clean-up crews were actively pumping sewage out of the creek and back into the sewer system. Sept 15, 2011