3:29 PM PST, January 28, 2013
A sewage spill closed the North Star Beach in Newport Bay on Monday, according to county health officials.
Officials said a line blocked by rags in the Newport Beach sewage collection system caused 1,000 gallons of raw sewage to spill into the Newport Bay area.
One possible cause was people flushing cloth rags or non-biodegradable material that could cause a blockage, said Larry Honeybourne of the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The city notified health authorities of the spill about 9:45 a.m. Monday, according to an OCHCA report.
About 200 gallons were recovered, while about 800 gallons were released, the report said.
The blockage in the line was resolved almost immediately, Honeybourne said, and two days of samples must be tested and meet state standards for swimming conditions before the area can reopen.
The earliest the beach would reopen would be Wednesday afternoon, Honeybourne said.
— Lauren Williams