OAKLAND – An unexpected power outage on Friday included the West Oakland area where the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Main Wastewater Treatment Plant is located, which caused failure of major equipment at the wastewater plant resulting in a sewer back-up and release of 50,000 gallons of raw and partially treated wastewater to the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.
In response, Baykeeper executive director Sejal Choksi-Chugh issued the following statement:
"This is a really unfortunate agency accident that resulted in thousands of gallons of raw sewage spilling into the West Oakland environment, where people and wildlife are already exposed to way too much industrial waste and urban pollution. Untreated sewage contains bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens that can make people sick and can kill fish. The causes of the spill need to be investigated, and the responsible agencies should be held accountable for this mess. But the immediately critical task is to get the word out to everyone who lives, works, and recreates around the Oakland Estuary to stay out of the water for a few days. People are going to be drawn to the water on hot days like this, and it's important to warn them to stay away from the polluted areas right now to be safe."