10:26 PM PST, February 6, 2013
A sewage spill closed a portion of the waters off Newport Bay Tuesday, according to authorities.
Waters between Channel Place Park and 41st Street, or about 600 feet of beach area, were off limits to swimmers and divers, according to a Tuesday announcement from the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The spill of about 200 gallons appeared to be from a private property and began sometime Monday, although the city was notified of the spill Tuesday afternoon. The city notified the Health Care Agency at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to OCHCA program manager Larry Honeybourne.
Last Monday a blocked sewage line sent 1,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Newport Bay area, closing North Star Beach. Honeybourne said areas will sometimes have anywhere between five and 15 closures a year.
Two days worth of tests must pass state standards for swimming water before the beaches can reopen. The soonest the beach would reopen could be late Friday morning, Honeybourne said.
— Lauren Williams