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Sewage spill closes Little Corona Beach in Orange County

July 2, 2010 |  9:49 pm

A sewage spill on Friday closed Little Corona Beach in Newport Beach, keeping swimmers out of the water at the popular spot through the Fourth of July weekend.

The spill was caused by a sewage main break shortly before noon at Newport Coast Drive and Ridge Park Road, according to Shannon Reed, spokeswoman for the Irvine Ranch Water District, which operates the main. Sewage flowed over Newport Coast Drive and into Buck Gulch, which flows into Little Corona Beach, three miles away, she said.

Reed said the water district estimates that 18,000 gallons of sewage escaped before the spill was contained at 1:05 p.m. She said it was not clear if any of the sewage made it as far as Little Corona Beach, but the Orange County Health Care Agency closed the beach as a precaution until it gets lab test results back on Monday. Reed said the beach will remain closed until at least then.

To keep sewage flowing safely, the water district was installing a bypass hose and expects to have the main fully repaired in two days.

The cause of the break has not been determined, Reed said.

-- Mitchell Landsberg