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Over 100,000 gallons of sewage heads to Salton Sea


Last updated 6/8/2017 at 8:18am

Two sewer pipes broke Saturday night, releasing more than 100,000 gallons of sewage into the Whitewater River Stormwater Channel in Palm Desert, according to water district officials.

The Coachella Valley Water District received reports about 10:50 p.m. Saturday that a large area of dirt was eroding in the flood-control channel next to Cook Street. Running through the Coachella Valley, starting northwest of Palm Springs where the Whitewater River comes out of the San Bernardino Mountains, the storm channel runs 50 miles before ending at the Salton Sea.

Crews were dispatched to the area and discovered that “water overflowing from a pond at a nearby business had caused massive erosion, which exposed two underground sewer pipes and caused them to break,” according to district officials.

The spill was contained to a small portion of the channel and the leaks are expected to be plugged Sunday afternoon

Sewer flow in the area was being diverted through other pipes to prevent service to nearby homes and businesses from being affected, district officials said.

The main diversion site is located near the intersection of Portola Avenue and Hovley Lane East, and prompted one lane to be closed in each of the four directions.

CVWD encouraged motorists to stay away from the intersection as traffic delays were expected.

The lane closures are expected to be in place for several weeks while repairs are being completed.

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