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Sewage spill blocked, but asphalt collapses under trucks

December 29, 2010

Officials responded Monday morning to a sewage spill in a Huntington Beach residential neighborhood only to have the front ends of two of the crew's vehicles collapse into a sinkhole.

Authorities have stopped a leak that spilled about 2,000 gallons of liquid sewage onto the street and down the storm drains, said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Lopez.

The Utilities Division of the Public Works Department was called to the scene at 9 a.m. Monday after sewage began seeping out of a manhole in the street near Whitney Drive and Cascade Lane, Lopez said.

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About 2,000 gallons of sewage spilled out into the street and down the storm drain before the leak could be shut down, he said.

The leak is located where sewer lines from the city, Midway City Sanitation and the Orange County Sanitation District converge, Lopez said. It will be a while before it is determined which line was leaking and who is responsible, he said.

The flood control channel that the sewage leaked into is being diverted to the Sanitation District plant to be processed, he said.

About two hours after arriving on the scene, crews noticed that two vacuum trucks parked about 200 feet from the manhole had collapsed into a sinkhole, Lopez said.

The hole, about 10 feet in diameter and three feet deep, pulled the two trucks' front tires down, he said.

The trucks were removed from the sinkhole, Lopez said.

It is unknown how long it will take to repair the damage, he said.

—Britney Barnes

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