water quality of area beaches.
"There was definitely an impact on businesses in Huntington Beach,
and negative national press," Traub said. "This is not something the
tourism community could roll over and take lightly."
Traub will be asking the sanitation district to launch a research
study to determine public perceptions of local water quality and
launch a three-year marketing campaign to help change attitudes. The
outcome of the meeting was not available by press time.
The Sept. 4 spill shut down 2 1/2 miles of coastline from
Huntington Beach's Magnolia Street to 52nd Street in Newport Beach
for two days. The 12,500-gallon spill was a disaster for the city's
tourism industry, Traub said, closing a key visitor destination on
one of the last weekends of the tourist season.
The spill was likely caused by a series of mechanical failures,
said Bob Ghirelli, director of technical services for the district.
Moments before the spill , the plant experienced a loss in power from
the nearby Edison facility, its primary power provider. A backup
turbine engine system next failed because it was operating over
capacity, Ghirelli said. The final safeguard in place, a diesel
generator, had a major mechanical malfunction and went off-line,
eventually leading to sewage being released into the Santa Ana River
mouth instead of a release valve four miles offshore.
The spill created a negative connotation about Huntington Beach
water quality, Traub said.
"We do a better job of policing waters than any other community in
the country, and that story needs to get told," he said.
The beaches from Warner Avenue south to Beach Boulevard, generally
have excellent water quality according to Santa Monica-based
environmental group Heal the Bay's biannual reports. Beaches near
Magnolia and Brookhurst streets often face water quality problems the
report said. As of Oct. 11, the beach had a water quality grade of
Cabal said the steering committee would simply hear Traub's
request, but had not committed to any remediation.