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900K gallons of raw sewage spills into Los Coches Creek

LAKESIDE, Calif. - A storm-damaged sewer line broke and spilled 900,000 gallons of raw sewage into Los Coches Creek, county crews said Sunday.

Signs went up ordering people to stay away from the black water in a canyon just south of Interstate 8 at Los Coches Road, according to county spokeswoman Alex Bell. The spill was near a mobile home park and houses along East Sierra Alta Way in unincorporated El Cajon.

"The sewage entered the creek after an underground sewer pipe became exposed and significantly damaged during the Feb. 27 storms," Bell said. "County of San Diego Public Works Crews discovered the pipe Friday morning during a routine infrastructure inspection and controlled the spill by approximately 1 p.m. the same day."

Water quality samples were being collected along Los Coches Creek to evaluate the extent of potential sewage impacts.

The closure will remain in place until samples confirm that the water is no longer impacted from the spill, Bell said.

Los Coches Creek feeds into the San Diego River, but it was not clear how far downstream the raw sewage flowed.