The severe weather conditions rage on as multiple locations along the Orange County coast become victim to aggressive sewage spills this week. On Wednesday, March 15th heavy rains doused the local southern areas, ultimately leading to the cause of the spillages. 

In Long Beach, almost 18 gallons of sewage was discharged and leaked into the neighboring Los Angeles riverways. Public health officials have shut down all beaches west of the Belmont Pier until further notice for safety. The overflow was due to the sewage capacity hitting its maximum limit and heavy rains pushing it over the edge – literally. The LA Public Health Department is monitoring the waters and coastline for inclines and declines in habitat health and water quality. 

Unfortunately, the same incident occurred at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. Around 4,000 gallons of sewage was discharged into the adjacent waters causing the closure of the beach. Supervisor Katrina Fowley has made a public statement warning beach goers and residents to keep a safe distance 1,500 feet up and down the coast from the opening of the San Juan Creek. Similar to the spillage in Long Beach, heavy rain flow that occurred earlier this week, maxed out the sewage capacity causing the unexpected overflow. 

Even though these heavy rain conditions improve the constant drought, other incidents occur in tandem. On the same day [Wednesday], four apartment complexes in San Clemente were evacuated due to the extreme likelihood of a landslide. The rains left the underside and support beams of the houses exposed and in danger of crumbling down the hill. According to the Orange County Fire Authority, the mudslide made its way down to the train tracks, enveloping and taking anything in its path. Thankfully, residents were unharmed, but many are left without their belongings and even pieces of their home. 

These occurrences are unfortunately frequent when Southern California receives heavy rainfall. On average, Southern California is seemingly known for always being in a drought, so these locations do not see heavy annual rain, maybe a couple weeks out of the year. These sewage tanks and buoy containments are not manufactured or equipped for such aggressive weather conditions. With this being said, these locations have seen more rainfall in the past three months than they have in a while due to the heightened intensity of the atmospheric rivers. So will we see more of these conditions in weeks to come? And will these environmentally located containments withstand the force? We shall see!