By Andrea Swayne

A sewer spill on Monday has closed portions of Salt Creek County Beach and Monarch Beach in Dana Point to swimming and surfing, said Orange County Health Care Agency officials.

Larry Honeybourne, OC Health Care Agency program manager, said the South Coast Water District reported a 660-gallon spill led to approximately 550 gallons of sewage making its way into the storm drain system which is tributary to Salt Creek and Monarch Beach.

According to Linda Homscheid, SCWD communications officer, the spill was due to a pipeline leak in the sewage collection system.

The Water District was reportedly able to recover about 100 gallons before it reached the drain system.

The outlet is located where Salt Creek County Beach meets Monarch Beach and the closure is effective 300 feet up coast and 300 feet down coast from that point, until further notice.

“We began sampling this morning and must take two consecutive days of samples that meet state standards before reopening the beach,” Honeybourne said. “Therefore, the earliest we can expect the beaches to reopen is Thursday afternoon.”

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