Siskiyou County Public Health and the City of Mt. Shasta both released updates Thursday on the recent sewage spill south of Hatchery Lane and west of Interstate 5 in Mount Shasta. The public is urged to continue to avoid direct contact with water from Cold Creek downstream from the Central Mount Shasta City I-5 exit and the water of Lake Siskiyou until further notice.

The City estimates that beginning Jan. 2 a main interceptor failed west of I-5, and the failure appears to be due to an increase in water from the recent rain and snow melt.

The City says no private property was damaged due to the line failure, but it is estimated that 2,630,000 gallons were lost. Approximately 50 percent of that was infiltration and inflow, while an estimated 1,315,000 gallons of sewage escaped.

Water quality sampling has begun and will continue throughout the event, according the City. Downstream access points have been posted to warn the public to avoid contact with surface water along WA Barr Road and Lake Siskiyou.

Due to the remote location in the wetlands and limited accessibility, the City estimates that repairs could take two weeks.

The City said a contractor and crews were onsite Thursday, Jan. 12, installing a bypass pump system to prevent any further wastewater loss. “Focus will then shift to assessing and repairing the damage.”

Public Works Director Rod Bryan will be focused on managing and repairing the system with contractors and engineers. City Planner Juliana Lucchesi will serve as information officer for inquiries from the public and other agencies. Juliana can be contacted at (530) 926-7517 or by email: jlucchesi@mtshastaca.gov.

The City states in its update that “the increase in water eroded a drainage ditch near the interceptor line, which caused the pipe failure.

“The Public Works Department identified a loss in wastewater Jan. 10. The Office of Emergency Services, Regional Water Quality Board, and other agencies were notified of the sanitary sewer overflow.

“The line failure was located Jan. 11 in a wetland area south of Hatchery Lane. The Public Works Department, city engineers and contractors were immediately onsite to assess the failure and possible damage.”