Orange County Waters Clean For 4th of July Holiday?

On Monday July 2nd, there were white signs posted at the Newport River Jetties warning of high bacteria count in the water. Nobody really noticed. On Tuesday July 3rd, those white signs were switched out to yellow signs. Again nobody really noticed. You see, high bacteria count is nothing new at the border of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. The surfers and beachgoers that frequent the area between 56th street to the South, and Brookhurst Street to the North are used to these signs unfortunately.

But what DID get a few local surfers attention was that these same signs that warned people of the bacteria on Monday and Tuesday were absent on Wednesday July 4th at the same locations. One of the busiest days for tourism in the area, and the signs are gone and the beaches open for business as usual.

Does all this sound vaguely familiar to you? Well, it should.

For years, mysterious sewage leaks in Huntington Beach have closed local beaches for several weeks for miles in every direction. Google search "Huntington Beach sewage leaks" and see what information you pull up. Some of the results are pretty frightening:

In April 2006, sanitation workers performing routine maintenance noticed a leak in a pipeline in Huntington Beach. The leak was quickly repaired, but not before 30 million gallons of partially treated sewage made its way into the water. The beaches in the area were closed for several days. This incident and dozens of others over the past 10 years are a normal occurrence in the area.

While it is of course very possible that the water was clean for the 4th of July holiday, doesn't it seem a bit convenient for the cities who stand to make huge profits from local beachgoers and tourists who flock to their beaches?

For updates on your local beaches, visit the Surfrider Foundation's Blue Water Task Force website at

To report a possible sewage spill in your area, contact the Sewage / Public Works department in your area. Here are a few contact numbers for agencies in the Orange County area if you believe your beach has been contaminated by a sewage spill. Please call and report sewage spills!

City Sewer/Public Works Departments:
Aliso Viejo (949) 425-2500
Anaheim (714) 765-6840
Brea (714) 990-7691
Buena Park (714) 562-3655
Costa Mesa (714) 754-5248
Cypress (714) 229-6760
Dana Point (949) 248-3562
Fountain Valley (714) 593-4600
Fullerton (714) 738-6897
Garden Grove (714) 741-5956
Huntington Beach (714) {{{960}}}-8861
Irvine (949) 724-6515
Laguna Beach (949) 497-0765
Laguna Hills (949) 707-2650
Laguna Niguel (949) 362-4337
Laguna Woods (949) 639-0500
La Habra (562) 905-9792
La Palma (714) 690-3368
Lake Forest (949) 461-3480
Los Alamitos (562) 431-3538
Mission Viejo (949) 470-3095
Newport Beach (949) 644-3011
Orange (714) 532-6480
Orange County (714) 567-6363
Placentia (714) 993-8245
San Clemente (949) 366-1553
San Juan Capistrano (949) 443-6363
Santa Ana (714) 647-3380
Seal Beach (562) 431-2527
Stanton (714) 288-6742
Tustin (714) 962-2411
Villa Park (714) 998-1500
Westminster (714) 898-3311
Yorba Linda (714) 961-7170 Public Sewer Districts:
Costa Mesa Sanitary District (714) 754-5252, (714) 393-4433
El Toro Water District (949) 837-0660
Emerald Bay Service District (949) 494-8571
Garden Grove Sanitary District (714) 741-5395
Irvine Ranch Water District (949) 453-5300
Los Alamitos/Rossmoor Sewer District (562) 431-2223
Midway City Sanitary District (Westminster) (714) 893-3553
Moulton Niguel Water District (949) 831-2500
Orange County Sanitation District (714) 962-2411
Santa Margarita Water District (949) 459-6420
South Coast Water District (949) 499-4555
South Orange County Wastewater Authority (949) 234-5400
Sunset Beach Sanitary District (562) 493-9932
Trabuco {{{Canyon}}} Sanitary District (949) 858-0277
Yorba Linda Water District (714) 777-3018 Other Agencies:
Orange County Health Care Agency (714) 667-3600
Office of Emergency Services (800) 852-7550

**No calls were returned from either Newport Beach or Huntington Beach city counsels as of publication time.