It is not a good time to visit the Contra Costa County city of Martinez, as a burst sewer pipe has spewed more than 12,000 gallons of unpleasantness that’s bubbling up through the city’s storm drains.
You’ve got to feel for Martinez, a sunny East Bay community that is generally mostly in the news for petroleum refinery fires. But those incidents might be preferable to what Martinez is currently going through now, and for once, it’s not the refinery’s fault. The Chronicle reports that a burst pipe has spilled 12,500 gallons of raw sewage about Martinez, which is coming up through storm drains throughout the town.
Crews are working to clean up a 1,000 gallon raw sewage spill on the grounds of the PBF Refinery in Martinez. The spill was caused by a pipe rupture. The burst pipe runs around and into refinery property, according to @CoCoHealth. @KQEDnews— Ted Goldberg (@TedrickG) August 26, 2021
The trouble started Monday at the PBF Refinery (formerly the Shell refinery) on Pacheco Boulevard. The spill did not initially seem as large as it was. A Tuesday report from the Mount View Sanitary District said that “a refinery had sewage coming out of a storm drain due to unknown reasons but possibly due to a broken pipe. Spill has been stopped but not contained with waterways impacted.”
The sewage spill at the PBF Refinery in Martinez is bigger than first reported. A wastewater treatment official now says more than 12,500 gallons of raw sewage was released. @KQEDnews https://t.co/dUaAaZH5fc— Ted Goldberg (@TedrickG) August 26, 2021
But as we see above, the spill was vastly worse than initially thought. The Mount View Sanitary District determined it was a burst pipe beneath Pacheco Boulevard, which they’ve identified and bypassed. Crews are fixing the pipe, which is expected to take at least through the weekend, but at least there is no further spewage or spillage at this time.
The problem is that 12,500 gallons that already did spill. According to the Chronicle, “District workers are collecting the sewage in trucks from nearby storm drains and bringing it to the Martinez sewage plant for treatment.” One hopes those people are being paid well.
The cleanup is expected to be completed by late Thursday. Signs have reportedly been posted alerting residents, and they're encouraged to avoid surface water for obvious reasons.
Image: Sincerely Media via Unsplash