The Nevada County Department of Environmental Health has been notified that a sewage spill caused by a computer system failure at the Lake of The Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant occurred over a 12 hour period starting on Sunday evening 5:30 pm and 6:30 am this morning. The release impacted Magnolia Creek from the Plant to the Bear River with approximately 37,500 gallons of untreated sewage. Nevada County Environmental Health working with the Nevada County Department of Public Works are collecting samples to determine the extent of the impact and are posting affected areas that are accessible by the public downstream of the release until further notice. The sewage that was discharged contains bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms that can cause illness in humans and animals. Director of Environmental health for Nevada County, Wesley Nicks says the source has been stopped and cleanup is under way.
“They’ve put vac trucks in to remove all the sewage on the county property down to near Magnolia Creek. So basically the source of it has been removed. It has been cleaned up and returned back to the plant so it won’t continue to get higher. From there it will dilute out and the bacteria will die within a few days.”
The current flow rate of Wolf Creek in that area is approximately 220 GPM which is a fairly slow dilution rate indicating that high bacteria levels may be present for at least 24 hours.