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					Final Report
Final Report                                   Huntington Beach
                                            Closure Investigation
                                                                    conducted by
                                               The Orange County Sanitation District


                                                                    Phase I




       Huntington State Beach, California


                                                        December 1999
                                                             Volume 1
       Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD)
              Fountain Valley, California

General Manager                                       OCSD Board of Directors
Donald F. McIntyre
                                                      City/Sanitary District       Board Member
Asst. General Manager
Blake P. Anderson                                     Anaheim                      Shirley McCracken
                                                      Brea                         Lynn Daucher
                                                      Buena Park                   Jack Mauller
Report Contributors                                   Costa Mesa Sanitary Dist.    James M. Ferryman
Nick Arhontes                                         Cypress                      Anna L. Piercy
    Manager of Collection Facilities O&M              Fountain Valley              John Collins
Jeffrey L. Armstrong                                  Fullerton                    Don Bankhead
     Principal Environmental Specialist               Garden Grove                 Mark Leyes
                                                      Huntington Beach             Peter Green
Robert P. Ghirelli, D.Env.                            Irvine                       Christina Shea
   Director of Technical Services Department          Irvine Ranch Water Dist.     Peer Swan, Vice Chair
Deirdre E. Hunter                                     La Habra                     Steve Anderson
    Senior Environmental Specialist                   La Palma                     Paul Walker
                                                      Los Alamitos                 Charles E. Sylvia
Greg Mathews                                          Midway City Sanitary Dist.   Joy L. Neugebauer
    Assistant to the General Manager                  Newport Beach                Jan Debay, Chair
Charles D. McGee                                      Orange                       Mark A. Murphy
   Supervisor of Microbiology Laboratory Section      Placentia                    Norman Z. Eckenrode
                                                      Santa Ana                    Pat McGuigan
Michael D. Moore                                      Seal Beach                   Shawn Boyd
   Manager of Environmental Compliance & Monitoring   Stanton                      Brian Donahue
Samuel L. Mowbray                                     Tustin                       Thomas R. Saltarelli
   Manager of the Environmental Sciences Laboratory   Villa Park                   Russell Patterson
                                                      Yorba Linda                  John M. Gullixson
Michelle Tuchman
   Director of Communications                         Orange County
                                                      Board of Supervisors
Graphic Support                                       Representative               Jim Silva
Ingrid Hellebrand
    Communications Specialist
Dionne Kardos
    Graphic Services Assistant
Michael J. Mengel
   Principal Environmental Specialist
 Huntington Beach
Closure Investigation

    Phase I Final Report




        Volume 1
      December 1999

           prepared by




           Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD)
           10844 Ellis Avenue
           Fountain Valley, CA 92728-8127
           (714) 962-2411
                                                                                                                                      Final Report Volume 1




Table of Contents
Executive Summary ......................................................................................................1
   Initial Investigative Activities.................................................................................................................... 1
   Other Investigative Technologies .............................................................................................................. 2
   The Effect of Urban Runoff....................................................................................................................... 2
   Outfall Dye Study ...................................................................................................................................... 3
   The Impact of AB 411 ............................................................................................................................... 3

Orange County’s Beach Monitoring Programs ...........................................................1
   District’s Bacterial Monitoring Program ................................................................................................... 1
   Health Care Agency’s Beach Monitoring Program ................................................................................... 3
   AB 411....................................................................................................................................................... 3

Sanitary Survey (Risk-Based Investigation)................................................................5
   Summer of 1999 Bacterial Data................................................................................................................. 6
   OCSD Emergency Operations Center ....................................................................................................... 9
   OCSD Discharge Plume ............................................................................................................................ 9
   OCSD Coast Trunkline............................................................................................................................ 10
   OCSD Coast Trunkline Siphon................................................................................................................ 11
   State Parks’ Restrooms ............................................................................................................................ 13
   OCSD 120-inch Diameter Nearshore Outfall .......................................................................................... 13
   Offshore Triangle..................................................................................................................................... 13
   Offshore Transects................................................................................................................................... 13
   Onshore Outfall Investigation.................................................................................................................. 13
   Dye Study ................................................................................................................................................ 14
   OCSD 78-inch Diameter Outfall ............................................................................................................. 16
   OCSD Huntington Beach Purchase Line ................................................................................................. 16
   OCSD Newland Line............................................................................................................................... 16
   Unmapped Pipe/Conduit.......................................................................................................................... 17
    Monitoring Wells and Hydropunching .................................................................................................. 17
    Ground Penetrating Radar.................................................................................................................... 18
    Forward Looking Infrared Radar ......................................................................................................... 19
    Offshore Sonar ...................................................................................................................................... 19
    Document Search and Aerial Photo Review.......................................................................................... 20
   District’s Plant No. 2 Facility .................................................................................................................. 20
   City of Huntington Beach/County Storm Water Pump Stations.............................................................. 20
   Urban Runoff: Talbert Channel and Santa Ana River ............................................................................ 21
    Talbert Channel and Offshore Water Quality and Transport Mechanism Survey ................................ 21
    Talbert Marsh Overnight Bacterial Survey ........................................................................................... 22
    Santa Ana River Study........................................................................................................................... 22




                                                                               i
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



   Power Plant Outfalls ................................................................................................................................ 23
   Power Plant Facility................................................................................................................................. 24
   Dewatering from Construction Site ......................................................................................................... 24

Investigation Costs .....................................................................................................25

Continuing Studies .....................................................................................................29

   Statistical Correlation Study .................................................................................................................... 29
   UCI Talbert Marsh Study ........................................................................................................................ 29
   Next Phase Investigation Consultant ....................................................................................................... 29
   Enterococcus Archiving........................................................................................................................... 29
   Expert Scientific Panel............................................................................................................................. 29
   District’s Ongoing Ocean Monitoring Program....................................................................................... 29

Discussion of Lessons Learned.................................................................................30

Conclusions and Recommendations.........................................................................31


List of Tables and Figures
Table 1:          Examples of Huntington Beach Bacteria Data (April 1999–October 1999).................6
Table 2:          Examples of Picketline Monitoring Data for May........................................................8
Table 3:          Summary of District’s Costs (as of September 30, 1999)...........................................25
Table 4:          Updated Agency Costs for Huntington Beach Closure Investigation
                  (as of September 30, 1999) .........................................................................................26

Figure 1:         Huntington Beach Location Map and OCSD Service Area......................................... 1
Figure 2:         Huntington Beach Aerial Location Map...................................................................... 2
Figure 3:         District’s Surfzone and Offshore Water Quality Stations............................................ 3
Figure 4:         Exceedences of Beach Standards: June 1998–August 1999....................................... 4
Figure 5:         Priority Ratings for Potential Sources.......................................................................... 5
Figure 6:         Total Coliform Concentrations (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999) .......................... 7
Figure 7:         Fecal Coliform Concentrations (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999) .......................... 7
Figure 8:         Enterococci Concentrations (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999) ............................... 8
Figure 9:         Area Map and District’s Facilities ............................................................................. 10
Figure 10:        Hydopunching Along the State Beach Bike Path ...................................................... 11
Figure 11:        District’s Inverted Siphon as a Cross Section of Huntington Beach Parking Lot ..... 12
Figure 13:        Offshore Triangle Survey .......................................................................................... 14
Figure 14:        120-inch Diameter Outfall Diagram .......................................................................... 15
Figure 15:        Broken Crown Along Contract 11-1.......................................................................... 17
Figure 16:        Investigative Technologies Location Map................................................................. 18
Figure 17:        Offshore Sonar Transects........................................................................................... 19
Figure 18:        Storm Water Pump Station .........................................................................................20




                                                                           ii
                                                                       Final Report Volume 1




Volume 2 Appendix


 Appendix   Description
    A       Investigation Chronology (in chronological order)
            Investigation Chronology (by subject matter)
    B       Surfzone Monitoring Data from April 1999–October 1999
             (Discharge Monitoring Report’s Surfzone Bacteriology Report and
             Expanded Monitoring Data for Huntington Beach Investigation)
    C       Offshore Picketline Sample Results

    D       Offshore Triangle Survey Data

    E       Storm Water Channels, Talbert Marsh, and Offshore Transects Report

    F       Dye Study Report

    G       District Inspection of 78-inch Diameter Outfall

    H       Banning Tract Drawing, 15-inch Diameter Line Abandonment

    I       Hydropunch and Monitoring Well Report and Data

    J       Ground Penetrating Radar Report

    K       Visual and Infrared Flyover Report

    L       Document Search and Aerial Review Report

    M       Storm Water Pump Station Bacterial Information

    N       OCSD/Surfrider Talbert Marsh Data

    O       OCSD/OCHCA/Surfrider Santa Ana River Report

    P       Power Plant Outfall and Facility Investigation Data

    Q       Construction Site Dewatering Water Quality and Flow Data




                                          iii
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




                                                  iv
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1




Executive Summary
The Orange County Health Care Agency’s (OCHCA) Health Officer closed a portion of
Huntington State Beach on July 1, 1999, due to elevated levels of total coliform, fecal coliform,
and enterococci bacteria that presented a fingerprint indicative of sewage contamination. Closures
continued throughout the summer, affecting up to six of the eight miles of state and city beaches
in Huntington Beach. The last section of beach was reopened on September 3, 1999.

The initial beach closure triggered a three-month risk-based source investigation led by the
Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD or District). Other agencies actively involved
included OCHCA, the California State Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks),
the City of Huntington Beach, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana
Region 8 (RWQCB).

In developing a risk-based investigation, the District and OCHCA primarily focused on potential
sources of human sewage that were in close proximity to the contaminated beach area. Sources
were assigned priorities (Priority 1 – Priority 4) based on their potential to contain human fecal
contamination and their potential concentration of fecal coliform. This report examines those
possible sources and describes the investigation of each from the District’s perspective.

The District has commissioned additional studies and is participating in a number of follow-up
activities aimed at identifying the cause of the beach closures. This additional work will build
upon the information and experience obtained during the summer 1999 incident. Hence, this
document is entitled a “Phase I” report in anticipation of additional phases of the investigation
continuing over the next six to twelve months and beyond. The District believes it is important
that the information contained in this report be made available to all interested parties and
stakeholders in the watershed for their use in directing further studies that are needed to find
the source or sources of the problem.

Initial Investigative Activities

Several weeks prior to the beach closure, the District’s surfzone monitoring had identified
bacteria levels that were above normal, but within acceptable limits. Consequently, water-quality
testing was performed along a transect (picketline) approximately one mile offshore. This testing
evaluated the possibility that the District’s ocean discharge (Priority 1) could be moving onshore.
The results of those tests were negative.

Subsequent to the beach closure in July 1999, the District initiated closed circuit television
(CCTV) inspections of the Huntington Beach State Parks’ sewer lines (Priority 1), the District’s
Coast Trunkline (Priority 1), and other nearby facilities. A small break found in a State Parks’
sewer line was repaired, but the elevated bacteria levels continued on the beach. In order to
CCTV a 265-foot portion of the District’s Coast Trunkline that dips 45 feet below the two power
plant cooling water pipes, the inverted siphon structure (Priority 1) was pumped dry and cleaned
of debris. The cleaning took hundreds of man-hours, and over 165 cubic yards of debris were
removed. The siphon was later downsized as an improvement project to reduce debris build-up.
The CCTV inspection showed that the siphon was in excellent condition and in no way
contributed to elevated bacteria levels on the beach. CCTV inspections of other sewer lines
in this service area (Revenue Area 11) revealed only one section of damaged pipe (approximately
one and one-half miles inland), and that pipe was quickly repaired. No exfiltration from District
sewers was discovered during any of the CCTV inspections.




                                               ES-1
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




Another offshore survey conducted in August 1999 was performed to affirm that the nearshore
portion of the District’s in-service 120-inch diameter outfall (Priority 1) was not the cause
of the beach contamination. None of the offshore samples collected during this survey had
significantly elevated levels of bacteria, while several of the concurrently monitored surfzone
stations did. Some slightly elevated samples were most likely a product of the onshore
contamination moving offshore.

Other Investigative Technologies

With the integrity of the Coast Trunkline, the inverted siphon, the State Parks’ restrooms,
and all ancillary sewer lines confirmed; the District employed other investigative efforts
to locate the source of contamination. State-of-the-art technologies including ground penetrating
radar, sonar, and infrared imaging were used to search for unmapped pipes or other anomalies
that could be transporting contaminated water to the beach. None were found.

The District also conducted extensive groundwater sampling in an attempt to locate pockets
of contaminated groundwater. Site-specific samples were taken near sewer lines, in front
of two trailer parks, and at an abandoned hazardous waste site, but no elevated bacterial levels
were found.

An extensive document search and a review of aerial photos were performed to identify possible
source sites from the historical records, but no significant sources were discovered that had not
already been identified and were under investigation.

The ocean water intake and outlet outfalls from the power plant (Priority 3), the power plant
on-site facilities (Priority 4), and the dewatering at a construction site (Priority 4) were examined.
Each of these potential sources was eliminated as a probable cause for the beach contamination.

The Effect of Urban Runoff

After eliminating possible onshore or offshore sources of sewage contamination, the investigation
began to look at urban runoff (Priority 2) in late August 1999. This source was not investigated
earlier because the closest urban runoff outlet to the beach area where the contamination was first
detected was nearly 8,000 feet away. It must also be noted that as time progressed the profile of
the bacteria found at the beach changed. While high levels of total coliform, fecal coliform, and
enterococci were found initially, over time only high levels of enterococci persisted. Enterococci
levels disproportionately higher than total and fecal coliform levels suggest a higher probability
of contamination from urban runoff rather than from sewage.

In this part of the investigation, three storm water pump stations operated by the City of
Huntington Beach and one operated by the County of Orange were tested and found to contain
high levels of all three indicator bacteria. A study of the channels and the marsh was initiated
because these pump stations delivered urban runoff to the flood control channels that which
eventually flow to the surfzone.

The marsh study demonstrated (with citrus fruit) a water-transport mechanism from the mouth
of the Talbert Marsh to the areas of beach contamination. However, because pump station
discharges were stopped the day before the study was performed, it was not possible to link




                                                  ES-2
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1



bacteria from the pump stations to the contaminated beach. Bacteria levels at the beach did taper
after the diversions, although intermittent, low levels of bacteria continue.

The District also coordinated two other interagency sampling programs designed to further
examine bacteria levels in the water exiting Talbert Marsh and the Santa Ana River. An overnight
sampling event at the mouth of the marsh and another at the mouth of the river were performed
in September 1999. Again, the studies did not show a direct link between a source and the beach
contamination, but some potential upstream sources were identified for further study.

Outfall Dye Study

Throughout the summer all tests performed around the District’s outfall system indicated that
neither the 120-inch diameter outfall (Priority 1), nor the out-of-service 78-inch diameter outfall
(Priority 1), leaked. Therefore, they were not contributing factors to the bacterial contamination
on the beach. In addition, all water quality tests performed offshore indicated that the discharge
plume (Priority 1) was not moving onshore. The definitive study confirming the integrity of the
outfall system, a $100,000 dye test, was performed in late September 1999.

The Impact of AB 411

As noted earlier, the first section of beach was closed on July 1, 1999, and the last section
of beach was reopened on September 3, 1999. It was the Health Officer’s decision to keep the
beach closed for this extended period of time because indicator bacteria levels above California
Assembly Bill 411 (AB 411) limits were intermittent, unpredictable, and initially suspected
of being from sewage. The fact that a direct mechanism from a source of bacteria and the beach
could not be found also played a role in the Health Officer’s decision.

Analysis of historical bacteriological monitoring data showed that if AB 411 standards had been
implemented one year earlier, portions of the District-monitored beaches would have exceeded
the single-sample water quality standards 143 times instead of twelve times under the old
regulations.

Orange County was the first coastal region to experience a beach closure of this size and duration
as the result of AB 411 and urban runoff. This experience demonstrated the need for interagency
cooperation, open communication with the public, and a strategy for performing source
investigations.

Today, a task force of local cities and agencies, legislators, and citizen groups has been formed
to establish funding sources, investigation protocols, and mitigation measures to be used as these
types of incidents arise in the future. The District is continuing to perform surfzone monitoring
three days per week. Occasionally, indicator bacteria levels exceed AB 411 standards, and the
Health Officer continues to post these individual stations.

There are ongoing and special research studies that may benefit this beach closure issue.
For instance, a university study designed to examine the flux of bacteria through the Talbert
Marsh has been funded and is underway.




                                               ES-3
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




                                                  ES-4
                                                                                 Final Report Volume 1




Orange County’s Beach Monitoring Programs
District’s Bacterial Monitoring Program

The District is the regional wastewater treatment agency serving 2.2 million Orange County,
California residents (Figure 1). In order to discharge a blend of primary and secondary treated
water to the Pacific Ocean through a five-mile long outfall (a four mile pipe plus a 6,000-foot
diffuser), the District has been granted a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
(NPDES) permit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and RWQCB. The permit
places bacteriological compliance limits, based on the California Ocean Plan and the RWQCB
Santa Ana Region Basin Plan, for the surfzone (beach) and the recreational waters of the Pacific
Ocean within the jurisdiction of the State of California (three-mile limit).




                Los Angeles        San Bernardino
                        Anaheim

                       Huntington Beach


                                                                                        Arizona
                                 Oceanside



                                     San Diego
  N    Pacific Ocean
                                                               Mexico

             Figure 1: Huntington Beach Location Map and OCSD Service Area

In accordance with this permit, the District performs beach sampling for three indicator bacteria
(total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and enterococcus) up to five days per week (Figure 2). The
sampling occurs at 17 surfzone stations along almost 15 miles of beach from Crystal Cove (39S)
to Bolsa Chica (39N) (Figures 2 and 3). Each station is represented in thousands of feet north (N)
or south (S) of the Santa Ana River. In addition, monitoring is performed at a station in the
Talbert Channel at the Brookhurst Bridge and the Santa Ana River at the Talbert Street crossing.
District routine monitoring stations includes 3N, 6N, 9N, 15N, 21N and 27N in the Huntington
Beach City and State beach areas, although 27N was not involved in the closure. Historical
surfzone bacterial data are available back to 1974.




                                                1
                                                                  Stt
                                                               sttS
                                                                                                                                                                       Adams Ave
                                                                                                                                                                       Adams Ave




                                                              es
                                                             we
                                                          ennw
                                                         de
                                                      oll
                                                     G
                                                     Go
                                                                        St
                                                                      h
                                                                     th
                                                                   17
                                                                   17
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Indianapolis Ave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Indianapolis Ave
                                                          21N




                                                                                                                           Beach Blvd
                                                                                                                                                                            Newland St
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Magnolia St
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Magnolia St




                                                                                                  St
                                                                                            ain
                                                                                           Ma
                                                                                                                                                                           Atlanta Ave
                                                                                                                                                                           Atlanta Ave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




                                                                        Huntington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Talbert Channel D02
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bushard St



                                                                          Beach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bushard St




                                                                                                                                                 n
                                                                                                                                                on Beach Channel D01
                                                                           Pier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brookhurst St




                                                                                                                                             ng o
                                                                                                                                           tingt




2
                                                                                                  15N         Pa




                                                                                                                                        H nt
                                                                                                                                        Hun
                                                                                                                ci
                                                                                                                  fi c                                                                        Hamilton Ave
                                                                                                                                                                                              Hamilton Ave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  r




                                                                                                                         Co
                                                                                                                            as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               iver




                                                                                       Construction                           tH
                                                                                          Site                                  ig
                                                                                                                                  hw
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            n Riv




                                                                                                                                     ay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    S   ta Ana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      anta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    S




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Banning Ave
                                                                                                                     Power
                                                                                                                      Plant                                     9N
                                                                                                                                                                9N
                                                                                                                     Facility




    Figure 2: Huntington Beach Aerial Location Map
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ta
                                                                                                                                                                                         6N                                      lb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    er
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OCSD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           M                        Plant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sh
                                                           Figure 2: Huntington Beach                                                                                                                                                                               No. 2
                                                               Aerial Location Map                                                                                                                                3N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         h




                                                           City/County Stormwater Pump Stations                                                                                                                                                               N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ug
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ug




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              New
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  po r t S lo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  po r t
                                                           OCSD Surfzone Monitoring Stations                                                                                                                                                              0
                                                           from Santa Ana River (0) in ~1,000 ft increments
                                                           North and South, 6N ~6,000 ft North of River
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               3S
                                                                                                                                             Final Report Volume 1



Three days per quarter the District is also required by permit to monitor 25 offshore stations
through the water column. Five days per quarter, the District collects surface bacterial samples at
six stations in what is considered the recreational waters of the state that are within three miles of
shore (green stations on Figure 3).

                10 m

                                            Bolsa Chica




                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                   ive
                                             Reserve




                                                                                                 aR
                                                                                             An
                                    39N
                                                                               OCSD




                                                                                         nta
                                                                               Plant




                                                                                       Sa
                                          33N          Huntington              No. 1
                                                         Beach
                                                27N
                       3-
                          m
                         ile




                                                      21N
                              lin




                                                                             OCSD
                               e




30 m
                                                             15N             Plant
                                                                   9N        No. 2     Newport
                                                                        6N              Beach
                                                                        3N 0
                                                            78-inch diam.    3S
                                                                Outfall         6S
                                                            (Emergency)            9S

                                                                                             15S
                                                                                                     21S
                                                                                                                                   Corona
                                                                                                              27S                  Del Mar
                                                                                                                       2 9S
60 m                                      120-inch diam.
                                              Outfall
                                                                                                                                       39S


200 m
                                                                                                                      3-
                                                                                                                        m
                       LEGEND                                                                                            ile
                                                                                                                               lin
                                                                                                                                   e
        3-mile Water Contact Standards Boundary
        OCSD Bacteria Monitoring Stations
        within 3 miles of shore
                                                                                         0            2           4
        OCSD Water Quality Monitoring Stations                                                   kilometers
        outside 3 miles of shore                                                             0        1

        OCSD Surfzone Monitoring Stations                                                           miles
                                                                                                              2
                                                                                                                                                             N
                                                                                                                                                          To Scale




                Figure 3: District’s Surfzone and Offshore Water Quality Stations

Health Care Agency’s Beach Monitoring Program

The District’s monitoring data is also used by the OCHCA, which has the responsibility to post
or close beaches when health standards, as defined in the California Code of Regulations’ Health
and Safety Code, are exceeded. Because the Health and Safety Code standards are set by a
different regulatory entity, they are independent of the District’s NPDES permit compliance
bacterial limits. The District reports the results of its bacterial monitoring to the OCHCA, in order
for OCHCA to take the required public health actions.

AB 411

Emergency regulations went into effect on July 26, 1999, as a result of 1997 legislation,
California Assembly Bill 411. The legislation required more protective standards, uniform
bacterial monitoring programs throughout the state, as well as beach posting and closing criteria
in the Health and Safety Code. For instance, the pre-AB 411 regulations required a beach closure
when the 30-day average bacterial (total coliform) results were chronically elevated, when a
single total coliform density (as verified by a repeat sample taken within 48 hours) exceeded
10,000 organisms/100 mL, or if there was a known sewage spill that would impact the beach.



                                                                               3
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



The new AB 411 regulations require a beach posting if single sample thresholds for any
of the three indicator bacteria are exceeded, and a beach closure if there is a known sewage spill
affecting the beach. These new standards allow the Health Officer almost “real-time” reaction
to threats to public health and are based on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project
Epidemiological Study of swimmers at marine beaches. The Health Officer’s reaction can
only be as timely as the bacterial tests, which require 24 to 48 hours to analyze.

Because the new regulations are more protective of public health, there has been an increase in
the number of days that the beaches throughout the state, especially around freshwater outlets
(storm drains, rivers, and creeks), exceed the health criteria. The District examined Huntington
Beach bacterial data from June 1998 to August 1999 using the new AB 411 criteria. The data
revealed that there would have been a total of 143 days that exceeded the new regulations, instead
of the twelve days that exceeded the pre-AB 411 regulations (Figure 4).

                Bolsa Chica
         3       Reserve
                                       Warner Ave

                   7




                                                                            Brookhurst Ave
                               1        Huntington




                                                                                                         er
                                                                                                    Riv
                                          Beach




                                                                                                     a
                                                                                                  An
                                          1




                                                                                             n ta
                                      1
                                      1


                                                                                             Sa
                                                        8
                                 Huntington
                                    Pier            1
                                                            1
                                                            1
                                                                                                     Newport
                                                                2                                     Beach
                                                                    4
                                                                        3
                                                                        3



                   LEGEND
              Pre AB411 Standards
              Pre AB411 Standards                                                                                    N
                                                                                                          Map Not to Scale




               Figure 4: Exceedences of Beach Standards: June 1998–August 1999




                                                            4
                                                                                                                                        Final Report Volume 1




Sanitary Survey (Risk-Based Investigation)
A sanitary survey is a systematic analysis and interpretation of essential elements that may
contribute to the microbiological safety of recreational waters. The goal of the sanitary survey
is to identify and confirm the source(s) of microbiological contamination. The survey provides
a foundation upon which to implement an effective water quality sampling program, provide
information that will aid in the interpretation of water quality data, and provide public health
authorities a rational for which to make sound risk management decisions.

Information important to an effective sanitary inspection includes:

                    •    Topographical maps and aerial photographs that will locate activities and geological features
                         that could affect water quality;
                    •    Historical data on tides, currents, prevailing winds, rainfall, and natural disasters;
                    •    Available data on discharges of sewage and agricultural or urban runoff;
                    •    Historical water quality data;
                    •    Land use maps;
                    •    Infrastructure (sewers, storm drains, utility pipelines, etc.); and
                    •    Extreme events, such an epidemic among the population or exceptional weather conditions.

In developing the risk-based investigation, the District and OCHCA began the investigation
primarily focused on the high-priority possible sources. High-priority sources are those most
likely to have human fecal contamination and high levels of indicator bacteria (Figure 5).

Human
                                                                                                                   4. State Parks
                                                                                                                      Restrooms
                                                                                                                                          1. OCSD Coast
                                                                                     6. OCSD 78-inch diam.                                   Trunkline
                                                                                        Outfall (Emergency)
                                                                                                                                          2. OCSD Coast
                                                                                                                                             Trunkline Siphon
                                                                                                                                          3. OCSD
                                                                                                                                             Discharge
                                                                                                                                             Plume
                                                                                                                     5. OCSD 120-inch diam.
                                                                                                                        Outfall


                                                                                                                7. OCSD Huntington Beach Purchase Line
  Probable Source




                                                                                                                8. OCSD Newland Line


                                                                                                                                             Priority 1

                                                                              12. Talbert Channel    9. City of Huntington Beach/
                                                                              13. Santa Ana River       County Pump Stations

                                                                                                    11. OCSD Plant No. 2

                                                         14. Power Plant Outfalls

                                                                                                                           Priority 2


                              15. Power Plant Facility                         Priority 3
                              16. Contruction Site
                                       Priority 4
 Non-
Human
                        Low                              Concentration of Indicator Bacteria and Level of Risk                                            High


                                               Figure 5: Priority Ratings for Potential Sources




                                                                                     5
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



Because the District owns, operates, and maintains several major sewer facilities in southeastern
Huntington Beach between the Santa Ana River and the power plant facility where the initial
high counts were detected, these facilities were assumed to be high-priority possible sources and
were among the first investigated. Although resources were generally directed in order of highest
priority, investigation of all levels of sources proceeded concurrently. Appendix A contains a
chronology of the investigation ordered by date and subject matter.

Summer of 1999 Bacterial Data

In April 1999, the District’s beach monitoring data started showing sporadic, elevated (above
the historical normal) bacteria levels approximately 9,000 feet north (9N) of the Santa Ana River.
In June 1999, the elevated levels become more frequent, and the signal appeared to be from
sewage (Appendix B). Sewage was initially suspected as a contaminant because all three
indicator bacteria densities were elevated, and the ratio of total coliform to fecal coliform was
1:1 (Table 1). In August 1999, the indicator levels changed to a profile more like urban runoff.
Total and fecal coliform levels declined, but enterococci levels remained high (Figures 6-8).



                     Table 1: Examples of Huntington Beach Bacteria Data
                                  (April 1999–October 1999)

                                                                 Ratio
                                         Total      Fecal     Total:Fecal
     Date            Station            Coliform   Coliform    Coliform          Enterococci
   4/27/99              9N                 9,000    9,000          1:1              > 120
   5/29/99              9N                 3,000    3,000          1:1              > 120
   5/31/99              6N                 2,400    2,400          1:1              <    2
   6/12/99              9N                 3,000    1,700        1:0.6              > 120
   6/24/99              9N                 3,000    3,000          1:1              > 120
   6/28/99              6N                   800        800        1:1                  180
   7/10/99              3N               16,000     3,000        1:0.2                  20
   8/11/99              7N                   800        800        1:1              > 400
   8/12/99              8N                   170        170        1:1                  134
   8/23/99              7N                   110        110        1:1                  152
   8/28/99              6N                   110        110        1:1                  248




                                                    6
                                                                              Final Report Volume 1




Feet from
Kilometers                                                                                Total Coliform
Santa Ana River
from Outfall                                                                             Log (MPN/100 ml)
Northwest
                                                                                                          4.2
        35                                                                                                4.0
        30                                                                                                3.8
                                                                                                          3.6
        25                                                                                                3.4
        20                                                                                                3.2
                                                                                                          3.0
        15                                                                                                2.8
        10                                                                                                2.6
                                                                                                          2.4
            5                                                                                             2.2
            0                                                                                             2.0
                                                                                                          1.8
         -5                                                                                               1.6
       -10                                                                                                1.4
                                                                                                          1.2
       -15                                                                                                1.0
       -20                                                                                                0.8
                                                                                                          0.6
       -25
       -30
       -35
Southeast
            1.00        31.00          61.00           91.00        121.00                  151.00
            5/1/99     5/31/99        6/30/99        7/30/99       8/29/99               9/28/99
                                                                         Source: Burt Jones and MEC Analytical


                         Figure 6: Total Coliform Concentrations
                            (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999)


Feet from
 Kilometers                                                                                 Fecal Coliform
 from Ana River
Santa Outfall                                                                              Log (MPN/100 ml)
Northwest                                                                                                 4.2
            35                                                                                            4.0
                                                                                                          3.8
            30
                                                                                                          3.6
            25                                                                                            3.4
            20                                                                                            3.2
                                                                                                          3.0
            15                                                                                            2.8
            10                                                                                            2.6
                                                                                                          2.4
             5
                                                                                                          2.2
             0                                                                                            2.0
            -5                                                                                            1.8
                                                                                                          1.6
        -10                                                                                               1.4
        -15                                                                                               1.2
                                                                                                          1.0
        -20
                                                                                                          0.8
        -25
        -30
        -35
Southeast
                1.00     31.00          61.00          91.00         121.00                 151.00
             5/1/99     5/31/99        6/30/99        7/30/99       8/29/99                9/28/99
                                                                         Source: Burt Jones and MEC Analytical


                         Figure 7: Fecal Coliform Concentrations
                            (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999)




                                                 7
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




Kilometers
Feet from                                                                                                           Enterococci
from Ana River
SantaOutfall                                                                                                     Log (MPN/100 ml)
Northwest
                                                                                                                                   3.6
         35
                                                                                                                                   3.4
         30                                                                                                                        3.2
                                                                                                                                   3.0
         25                                                                                                                        2.8
         20                                                                                                                        2.6
                                                                                                                                   2.4
         15                                                                                                                        2.2
         10                                                                                                                        2.0
                                                                                                                                   1.8
            5                                                                                                                      1.6
            0                                                                                                                      1.4
                                                                                                                                   1.2
            -5                                                                                                                     1.0
        -10                                                                                                                        0.8
                                                                                                                                   0.6
        -15                                                                                                                        0.4
                                                                                                                                   0.2
        -20
                                                                                                                                   0.0
        -25
        -30
        -35
Southeast
         36281.00              36311.00             36341.00              36371.00          36401.00               36431.00
            5/1/99              5/31/99             6/30/99               7/30/99           8/29/99                9/28/99
                                                                                                  Source: Burt Jones and MEC Analytical



                                     Figure 8: Enterococci Concentrations
                                       (May 1, 1999–September 30, 1999)

The District performed a series of nearshore sampling surveys, “picketlines,” to rule out the
onshore movement of the District’s discharge plume. Picketlines examine the indicator bacteria
levels just below the surface and at a two-thirds depth (20 feet) at the 30-foot depth contour
(Figure 13). In general, the offshore picketlines performed on May 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19,
20, and 22, 1999, and July 27 and 29, 1999, revealed no significantly elevated levels of bacteria
(Appendix C), and occasionally indicator levels at the surfzone were higher than in the picketline
samples (Table 2).


                     Table 2: Examples of Picketline Monitoring Data for May

                                                                 Offshore Bacteria                     Surfzone
                     Surfzone                                   Total                                    Total
     Date
                      Station              Depth               coliform      E. coli                    coliform
                                          Surface                  < 10              < 10
 5/13/99                6N                                                                                  230
                                          20 feet                    31              < 10
                                          Surface                   31                 20
 5/15/99                6N                                                                                  300
                                          20 feet                   10               < 10
                                          Surface                   63                10
 5/20/99                9N                                                                                  110
                                          20 feet                   52                20
                                          Surface                    10              < 10
 5/22/99                6N                                                                                  800
                                          20 feet                  < 10              < 10




                                                               8
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1



The sporadic elevated bacteria levels in the surfzone caused the District’s staff to meet with
OCHCA to discuss the data on June 24, 1999. At this initial meeting, OCHCA requested that
the District increase the surfzone monitoring from 3,000-foot intervals to 1,000-foot intervals
in the area where the elevated levels were most often seen (6N–9N). As the closure zone
expanded, the District and OCHCA expanded the area of 1,000-foot sampling intervals. The
maximum area of beach closure occurred on August 25, 1999. The District and OCHCA were
performing 1,000-foot monitoring along the 4-mile stretch from the Santa Ana River to Golden
West (23N). On August 26, 1999, the Health Officer increased sampling to twice per day, seven
days per week and requested ocean current speed and direction readings by lifeguards in order
to better predict which parts of the beach might be impacted. The District and OCHCA shared
the beach monitoring duties proportional to their respective laboratory capacities.

OCSD Emergency Operations Center

On August 27, 1999, the District’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was implemented.
The EOC served four functions:

    1. Facilitated the flow of information to the necessary decision makers;
    2. Focused the efforts in a structured environment (major decisions were made only
       through the Incident Commander);
    3. Ensured swift and accurate decision-making given the gravity of the situation; and
    4. Increased the chances of reimbursement if the state or federal government declared
       the Huntington Beach closure to be a disaster.

The following sections describe, from the District’s perspective, the first-phase investigation
of the potential sources, performed in cooperation with OCHCA and other participating agencies
(see back cover). The sections are ordered according to their relative potential to cause the
elevated bacteria levels (Priority 1 – Priority 4) and their subject matter.

OCSD Discharge Plume

The source investigation began with the Priority 1 treated, but not disinfected, wastewater
discharged from the District’s ocean outfall. An average of 240 million gallons per day of a
primary and secondary blended wastewater is discharged through an outfall in nearly 200 feet
of water starting at a distance of four miles offshore along a 6,000-foot diffuser. Permit-required
offshore monitoring and special studies demonstrate that the predominate ocean currents carry
the District’s discharge upcoast and offshore from the discharge point with little shoreward
transport, as described in the District’s Marine Monitoring Annual Report. By all indications,
the offshore environmental conditions observed during the period of beach contamination
continued to support the contention that the beach contamination was not originating from the
District’s offshore discharge. However, because the offshore receiving waters are highly
dynamic, a series of surveys between the outfall discharge and the beach were initiated to help
confirm this understanding.

The shoreward transport of a plume was initially investigated with a series of offshore picketlines
described in the preceding section. The offshore triangle sampling strategy and the dye study also
demonstrated that the District’s discharge plume was not coming to the shore. In addition, the
offshore transects performed by MEC Analytical Systems, Inc. (MEC Analytical) and District’s




                                                 9
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



staff on August 30, 1999, concluded that there was no evidence of the District’s effluent plume
in the nearshore waters (see District’s 120-inch Diameter Nearshore Outfall section following).

Permit-required offshore quarterly sampling is performed during April, May, and August
(Figure 3 above). At no time was the plume detected above a fifteen-meter (50-foot) depth
or at any of the offshore sampling stations closest to the shoreline.

OCSD Coast Trunkline

The closest, Priority 1 potential source of sewage was the District’s 84-inch diameter Coast
Trunkline (Figure 9). After the District’s June 24, 1999, meeting with the OCHCA, the District
began concurrent closed circuit television (CCTV) inspections of its Coast Trunkline (11-13-2),
the Huntington Beach Purchase Line, and the State Parks’ sewer lines. Inspection of the Coast
Trunkline from Golden West to the District’s Plant No. 2 was completed on September 9, 1999.
No significant breaks, cracks, or offsets were discovered during the Coast Trunkline inspections.
                                    Main St


                                              Beach Blvd




                                                                                                  Hamilton Ave




                                                                                                                           Magnolia St




                                                                                                                                                              Bushard St
                                                                                 Newland St

             Construction




                                                                                                                                                                                                                          River
                Site




                                                                                                                                                                                                            St
     Huntington




                                                                                                                                                                                                                       na
                                                                                              Power




                                                                                                                                                                                                             t
                                                                                                                                                                                                          rs
        Pier                           11




                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ta A
                                                                                                                                                                                                       hu
                                                                                               Plant




                                                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                                                   oo
                                                           10                                 Facility




                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sa n
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Br
                     OCSD Coast                                                                                                    Banning Ave
                        Trunkline                               9
                    84-inch diam.
                                                                                                                              St
                                                                       8                                                        or                                                                OCSD
                                                                                                                                   m
                                                                                                                                         wa                                                       Plant
                                                                                                             Pa                               te
                                    Power Plant                              7                                 cifi                    Ch        r                                                No. 2
                                                                                                                    c   Co
                                    Outfall Pipes                                             6                            ast           an
                                                                                                                                           ne
                                                                                                                               Hig
                                    14-foot diam.                                                                                  hw
                                                                                                                                     ay
                                                                                                                                              ls
                                                                    Inverted Siphon
                                                                                                            5
                                                                                                                          4                                                Ta
                                                                                                                                                                              lb   ert
                                                                                                                                                                                         Ma
                                                                                                                                                                                           rs h
                                                                                                                                                     3

                                                                                                                                                          2
                                                                                                                                                                              1



                    LEGEND
                                                                                                                                                 78-inch diam.
       #      State Parks Restroom                                                                                                                   Outfall
                                                                                                                                                 (Emergency)
              State Parks Sewer Lines
              OCSD Trunkline / Sewer Line                                                                         120-inch diam.                                                                                   N
                                                                                                                      Outfall                                                                          Map Not to Scale




                                        Figure 9: Area Map and District’s Facilities

Hydropunching is a technique that allows sampling of the near-surface groundwater (perched
aquifer). The process involves using a hydraulic ram to drive a metal casing into the ground to
a prescribed depth. Clean tubing is then inserted down the casing and water is retrieved by use
of a peristaltic pump (Figure 10).




                                                                                              10
                                                                                  Final Report Volume 1




                 Figure 10: Hydopunching Along the State Beach Bike Path

Hydropunching was used as a tool to determine if the bedding around the District’s Coast
Trunkline was serving as a transportation mechanism for the contamination. On August 21, 1999,
samples were taken on the ocean-side of the District’s Coast Trunkline, four upstream of the
Coast Trunkline siphon, and four downstream of the siphon. No elevated bacterial levels were
detected in any of the hydropunch samples.

OCSD Coast Trunkline Siphon

The Coast Trunkline’s inverted siphon is a structure built to route wastewater under the power
plant’s 14-foot diameter cooling water lines. These large pipes carry seawater to and from the
power plant facility. The District’s wastewater siphon is 84 inches in diameter and reaches a
depth of 45 feet underground (Figure 11). It is located on the south side of Pacific Coast Highway
in the beach parking lot, north of State Parks Restroom 8 (Figure 9).

Not having found any problems with other portions of the Coast Trunkline, the siphon needed
to be investigated. The first investigation strategy was to measure flow upstream and downstream
of the siphon with sonic flow meters to detect any flow loss. The flow meters were put into place
during the first week of August 1999. The field flow volumes were compared to the high-
accuracy magnetic meters at the District’s Plant No. 2. Initial flow readings suggested the
possibility of a leak since the data indicated that more water was entering the siphon than coming
out of it. However, these initial readings were later discovered to be inaccurate because of an
upstream grit build-up and other hydraulic conditions that are not favorable for flow monitoring.
To verify the initial flow data, a hydrostatic test of the siphon was performed on August 13, 1999,
by plugging both ends of the pipe and watching the fluid level. The hydrostatic test result
indicated there was no leak.




                                                11
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




                                                   Power
                                                    Plant
                                                   Facility
 Pacific Coast Highway
 Parking Lot

 Under the Huntington State Beach Parking Lot

                                   Power Plant
                                   Outfall Pipes                            10 feet
                                   14-foot diam.




       OCSD Coast Trunkline
          84-inch diam.
          (7-foot diam.)                                                           45 feet

                                                        Inve
                                                            rted Siphon
            1,300 feet
                                                                                             Not to Scale



 Figure 11: District’s Inverted Siphon as a Cross Section of Huntington Beach Parking Lot


In order to verify the integrity of the siphon
interior, flows were diverted around the siphon so
that draining and cleaning could occur. A bypass
system was installed that pumped the wastewater
from the manhole upstream of the siphon to the
second manhole downstream of the siphon. One
hundred and sixty-five (165) cubic yards of grit
(a combination of grease, sand, grit, and other
debris) were removed from the 84-inch
(seven-foot) diameter structure that dips 45 feet
underground (Figure 12). The grit removal
process took District and contract crews several
weeks of 24-hour shifts to complete. When the
removal process was complete, the CCTV and a
visual inspection revealed that the 20-year-old
siphon was in great condition with no water
infiltrating or exfiltrating. No rehabilitation was
needed. However, since the siphon was clean, the
District took the opportunity to downsize the
siphon from 84 inches to 36 inches as a                                   Figure 12: Emptying Siphon
preventative maintenance measure. This project                                Bucket into Trailer
will prevent the extensive grit settlement that was
seen in the oversized 84-inch diameter siphon.




                                                              12
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1




State Parks’ Restrooms

On July 7, 1999, the District began CCTV inspections of the State Parks’ sewer lines (Figure 9).
One broken line was discovered at Restroom 7 and subsequently repaired. The repair had no
impact on indicator levels at the beach. No other significant breaks, cracks, or offsets were
discovered in the State Parks’ sewer facilities.

OCSD 120-inch Diameter Nearshore Outfall

The District’s 120-inch (10-foot) diameter outfall pipe leaves the Plant No. 2 treatment facilities
and travels underground until about 2,000 feet offshore. Both the onshore and offshore portions
of this outfall pipe were investigated.

Offshore Triangle

On August 13, 1999, the offshore portion of the 120-inch diameter outfall was investigated using
an “offshore triangle” sampling strategy. Beach samples were collected at 1,000-foot intervals,
while concurrent ocean samples were collected approximately 100 feet offshore at a depth of
about 10 feet, as well as 200 feet offshore at the 20-foot depth contour both just below the surface
and at two-thirds depth (Figure 13). Another set of samples was collected over the District’s
outfall pipe from a depth of 20 feet to about 50 feet (200 feet offshore to one nautical mile
offshore). These samples were also collected just below surface and at a two-thirds depth. Finally,
in this sampling scenario, a set of samples that aligned with sampling stations 0–9N (Santa Ana
River to the power plant facility), were collected along a transect that ran from the District’s
outfall at the 60-foot depth contour back to the starting point near the beach at the 30-foot depth
contour. This sampling strategy was intended to detect any water leaking from the outfall pipe
and being transported upcoast back to shore. The samples were analyzed for total coliform and E.
coli. None of the offshore samples demonstrated significantly elevated levels of indicator
bacteria, while one surfzone sample had over 1,000 mpn (most probable number) per 100 mL
total coliform and several more had levels over 100 mpn per 100 mL (Appendix D). The slightly
elevated offshore samples were most likely a product of the onshore contamination moving
offshore. This offshore work initially ruled out the underground portion of the outfall as a
contamination source.

Offshore Transects

As part of the urban runoff investigation, additional offshore transects were performed on
August 30, 1999, upcoast of the District’s 120-inch diameter, in-service outfall and 78-inch
diameter emergency outfall (Appendix E). No samples from this offshore survey had elevated
levels of bacteria.

Onshore Outfall Investigation

On August 26, 1999, the onshore portion was examined for leaks by collecting hydropunch
samples from the near surface groundwater on the beach between the 120-inch diameter and
78-inch diameter outfalls. No coliform bacteria were detected in these samples. Therefore, the
sampling indicated that wastewater was not leaking from the onshore section of the 120-inch
diameter outfall.




                                                 13
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




                                                         Beach Blvd




                                                                                                                       Magnolia St




                                                                                                                                                  Brookhurst St
  10 m
                              Huntington
                                              15N                          Huntington
                                 Pier                                        Beach

                                                                                Power
                                                                                 Plant
                                                                                Facility




                                                                                                                                                                      iver
                                                                           9N




                                                                                                                                                                    Ana R
                                                                                                                                                                  Santa
         0        500         1,000

                                                                                  10       6N
                meters                                                              0f
                                                                                         oo
         0        0.25        0.5                                                          td
                                                                                                ist
                                                                                                   an
                                                                                                                                          OCSD
             nautical miles                                                                          ce                                   Plant
                                                                                                          fro                        3N   No. 2
                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                    sh
                                                                                   30                                 ore
                                                                                      foo                                        lin
                                                                                         td                                          e                            Newport
                                                                                           ep                                              0
                                                                                             th
                                                                                                     lin
                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                                   Beach
  20 m
                                                                                                                                                                   3S




                                                                                     78-inch diam.
                                                                                         Outfall
                                                                                     (Emergency)




                                                                                                                          i le
                                                                                                                        lm
                         LEGEND




                                                                                                                      ca
                                                                                                                       ti
                                                                                                                    au
                                                                                                                1n
                Sampling Picketlines and
                Offshore Sampling Triangle
                OCSD Surfzone Monitoring Stations                                                                                                                            N
                                                                      120-inch diam.
                                                                                                                                                                    Map to Scale
                                                                          Outfall


                                           Figure 13: Offshore Triangle Survey

Dye Study

The District elected to conduct a dye study to unequivocally eliminate the possibility that the
nearshore portion of the 120-inch diameter outfall pipe was leaking. On September 30, 1999,
the District, with the help of its oceanographic consultant, MEC Analytical, conducted a dye
study (Appendix F). The objectives of the dye study included:

     •        Demonstrate that the nearshore, buried portion (to 2,000 feet) of the five-mile long,
              120-inch diameter outfall (Figure 14) was not leaking and impacting the beach; and
     •        Track the dye-treated effluent plume in the receiving waters to determine if the plume
              was coming onshore.

Dye was used to provide the greatest chance of detecting effluent, and to track the dye-treated
wastewater in the receiving waters. Rhodamine WT dye was selected because it does not adhere
to particles in wastewater, nor does it degrade rapidly in sunlight. Fluorometers were tuned
to the dye’s wavelength and calibrated in the laboratory using dilutions of the dye to establish
the relationship between output voltages and dye concentration. Measurements of salinity,
temperature, light transmission, and dissolved oxygen were measured by instrumentation on
a continuous basis and some discrete coliform samples were analyzed in conjunction with dye
measurements. All the instruments reading these measurements were packaged with a unit that
could be carried by divers or towed by the boat.




                                                                      14
                                                                                      Final Report Volume 1




                                                                 1 mile = 5,280 ft.




                         Figure 14: 120-inch Diameter Outfall Diagram

The study was conducted during high tide and peak flow at Plant No. 2. To maximize the
maximum effluent pressure in the outfall pipe. Dye was added at the 120-inch diameter Ocean
Outfall Booster Station at Plant No. 2. Enough dye was injected to reach a concentration of 1,000
parts per billion (ppb) for 2.75 hours. The fluorometers could detect 0.1 ppb dye even if the
effluent was diluted 1:10,000.

Dye measurements were made over the top of the outfall pipe from the shoreline to 2,000 feet
offshore and the area from 2,000 feet to 4.3 miles offshore; in the receiving waters around the
diffuser; and along the beach between the Santa Ana River and 3.4 miles upcoast. Two divers
carried fluorometers on each side, in the first 2,000-foot section, of the 120-inch diameter outfall
pipe for measurements. Two boats were used to read dye measurements in the offshore waters.
Grab samples collected at the beach were analyzed in the laboratory.

Before dye was added to the effluent, ambient levels of fluorescence were measured in the
environment and coliform bacteria were measured in the final effluent. Beach sampling for the
following three mornings yielded similar ambient levels of fluorescence. No evidence of
Rhodamine WT was detected inshore of the diffuser.

Rhodamine WT was detected in the receiving waters around the outfall’s diffuser. Movement
of this dye was demonstrated to be downcoast and offshore from the outfall on the afternoon of
the study. Sampling during the night following the study showed plume moving downcoast and
shoreward. No bacterial evidence suggests that the plume subsequently reached the surfzone.




                                                 15
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




OCSD 78-inch Diameter Outfall

The District’s 7,200-foot long, 78-inch diameter outfall pipe has not been in use since the
120-inch diameter outfall was put in service in 1971. The 78-inch diameter outfall is maintained
and to be used on an emergency basis. This pipe was investigated by physically inspecting the
gates that prevent flow from entering the structure (Appendix G). The physical investigation
determined that no wastewater was entering the structure. The offshore water quality sampling
described above (permit-required offshore monitoring, offshore triangle, and picketline surveys),
would have detected sewage discharging through the 78-inch diameter outfall.

OCSD Huntington Beach Purchase Line

The Huntington Beach Purchase Line is a 21- to 24-inch diameter sewer line that runs east and
west between First Street and Newland Avenue (Figure 9). A CCTV inspection of this line was
completed by July 28, 1999. At one location, the video showed what appeared to be a hole in the
pipe under Beach Boulevard. On August 6, 1999, the pipe was exposed in the location of the
possible hole. The investigation revealed that the outside of the pipe was not breached, and no
repairs were necessary. No other significant structural defects were observed. On August 5, 1999,
the Huntington Beach Purchase Line was exposed at three random locations in order to
investigate the bedding material and surrounding groundwater. Coliform analyses of the
groundwater samples from these locations did not indicate sewage exfiltration.

As part of the Huntington Beach Purchase Line investigation, the District’s staff reviewed
information regarding the old Huntington Beach sewage treatment facility located on what is now
the power plant property. The City of Huntington Beach Treatment Plant was built in 1935 and
was abandoned in 1954. A lift station and 15-inch diameter sewer were built as a diversion to the
new treatment facilities (District’s Plant No. 2). The 15-inch sewer needed to be abandoned when
the power plant was built. The abandonment of the treatment plant was the City’s project. The
District has no record of building or abandoning the 15-inch line. However, City of Huntington
Beach drawings for Tract 3898 in the Banning Avenue area (Appendix H) indicate that the
15-inch line abandonment would have been approved by the City. The District’s staff performed
several field investigations in the area to verify the abandonment of these facilities. No traces of
the old facilities were found during these field investigations because the manholes and access
points no longer exist.

OCSD Newland Line

The Newland line (11-14) is a 48-inch diameter sewer line that runs north and south between
Pacific Coast Highway and Hamilton Avenue. It was completely inspected via CCTV between
June 24, 1999, and July 12, 1999. No significant structural defects were observed.

When no leaks were discovered in the initial investigation zone, CCTV inspections progressed
upstream towards the starting points of the regional system in Revenue Area 11. Of the estimated
12.2 miles of CCTV-inspected sewer, only one section of damaged pipe was discovered. A
District’s 18-inch line, Contract 11-1, had a 20-foot section under Delaware Street, south of
Yorktown Avenue, that had pieces missing from the crown of the pipe and longitudinal cracks
on two additional joints (Figure 15). Once discovered in October 1999, this section was quickly
repaired. The District’s staff does not believe any water was lost into the ground since the pipe
does not flow full, nor was there any indication that this would cause any beach contamination.




                                                  16
                                                                                Final Report Volume 1




                       Figure 15: Broken Crown Along Contract 11-1

Unmapped Pipe/Conduit

Monitoring Wells and Hydropunching
By late July 1999, the mechanism by which the contamination reached the surfzone was still
unknown. To attempt to answer this question, several state-of-the-art technologies were employed
to characterize the groundwater. These technologies were also used to look for a contaminated
pocket of groundwater and to search for unmapped pipes, geologic structures, or rivulets that
could be conduits for the contaminated water to travel to the beach (Priority 2).

The District’s consultant, Converse Consultants (Appendix I), installed five monitoring wells
in the Huntington State Beach parking lot to characterize the groundwater in the area of the
Coast Trunkline siphon and along the beach. The goal was to determine if the contamination
was migrating from onshore facilities toward the beach (Figure 16). The wells were distributed
in the area where most of the elevated bacteria had been detected. Two, 60-feet-deep monitoring
wells were placed upstream and downstream of the siphon. The other three, 30-feet-deep
monitoring wells were installed linearly along the parking lot between State Parks Restroom 8
and to the west of Restroom 6. Sampling of these monitoring wells was conducted on July 31
and August 2 and 4, 1999. Samples were taken at 5-foot depth intervals on July 31,1999, and at
the surface during subsequent sampling. No elevated bacteria levels were detected in any of the
monitoring well samples.




                                               17
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



When the monitoring wells did not detect any bacterial contamination, the District used
hydropunching to thoroughly sample the affected area and to attempt to determine if there was
subsurface contamination and which direction it was traveling. The first set of hydropunches was
performed on August 9, 1999, in two staggered rows, 100 feet apart in 200-foot intervals along
the high-tide line in the surfzone. The rows started at the power plant outfall pipes (Figure 16)
and went 3,000 feet down coast. Samples from the perched aquifer were collected at eight- to
ten-foot depths along the beach during a flood tide. No elevated bacterial levels were detected in
any samples. This sampling was performed again on August 11, 1999, during an ebb tide at the
same locations, and again no coliform bacteria was detected.

                                 Main St


                                           Beach Blvd
                                                                        Hamilton Ave




                                                                                              Magnolia St




                                                                                                                        Bushard St
                                                        Newland St




                                                                                                                                                                     River
                                                                                                                                                          St
       Huntington                                                    Power




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                                                                     Facility




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                                                                                                        Banning Ave

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                                                                                                  m                                               OCSD
                                                                                                    wa                                            Plant
                                                                                   Pa                  te
                                 Power Plant                                         cifi
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                                                                                                         rC                                       No. 2
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                                 Outfall Pipes                                              oas
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                  LEGEND
              Monitoring Wells
              Hydropunching
              Ground Penetrating Radar                                                                          78-inch diam.
                                                                                                                    Outfall
              and Excavating                                                                                    (Emergency)

              Offshore Sonar and
              Infrared Radar Scans                                                                120-inch diam.
                                                                                                      Outfall                                                    N
              Dye Test
                                                                                                                                                      Map Not to Scale




                           Figure 16: Investigative Technologies Location Map

On August 27 and 28, 1999, additional hydropunching was performed in several locations
to eliminate other potential sources. Three hydropunch samples were taken along the south
perimeter of the trailer parks at Newland and Pacific Coast Highway, and one on a former
hazardous waste site at Hamilton and Magnolia.

Ground Penetrating Radar
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) was used on August 23, 28, and 29, 1999, to map any potential
contamination migration pathways, such as unmapped conduits and paleo river channels. GPR
uses the reflection patterns of electromagnetic waves in the 300 and 500 megahertz ranges to map
subsurface geological and manmade structures. The District’s contractor, Spectrum Geophysics
(Appendix J), mapped the area from 1N to 11N (10,000 feet starting 1,000 feet north of the Santa
Ana River). Given several dozen potential conduits, the District took 24 hydropunch samples
on August 26, 1999, where those conduits had been mapped and at a few miscellaneous sites.
No elevated bacteria levels were detected in any of the samples.



                                                                     18
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1




On August 28 and 29, 1999, the District’s contractor, Jamison Engineering, excavated six large
holes based on where GPR results showed the largest possible conduits locations. The District’s
staff took seven water samples from the excavated sites. Most of the excavating revealed there
was no conduit as some shell layers had probably reflected like a conduit on the GPR data.
Again, no elevated bacteria levels were detected in any of the groundwater samples.

Forward Looking Infrared Radar
Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) instrumentation detects heat gradients and gives an
image on a small monitor that allows the observer to see in total darkness. The images are
remarkably clean and can be used by police to see where a car had been parked after it was
moved. An infrared flyover was provided by the Huntington Beach Police Aero Unit in a
NOTAR, MD520N helicopter on August 26, 1999. While thermal discharges (warm water
such as from the power plant facility’s outfall) were clearly identifiable, no discharges could
be seen along the surfzone that could have identified a potential source of contamination.

On August 30 and 31, 1999, the Orange County District Attorney’s Environmental Crimes
Investigator performed visual and infrared flyovers in a United States Coast Guard helicopter.
No unusual observations or unusual thermal signatures were observed (Appendix K) from
unmapped conduits, the Talbert Marsh, the Santa Ana River or the nearshore portion of the
District’s outfall.

Offshore Sonar
Sonar instrumentation uses sound waves to identify the ocean floor and other subsurface
structures based on sound-wave travel times. On August 21, 1999, the District’s contract boat,
the Enchanter, used its sonar capabilities in an attempt to identify unmapped conduits in the
nearshore area. The boat made four transects of the offshore area (red numbered lines in
Figure 17), but no anomalous structures were detected.




                             Figure 17: Offshore Sonar Transects




                                                 19
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



Document Search and Aerial Photo Review
On August 26, 1999, the District’s contractor, Pacific Southwest Group (PSG), began a document
search and an aerial photo review in an effort to identify possible contamination sources from the
historical records (Appendix L). The document search and aerial review were conducted for the
area from 0.25 miles south of the Santa Ana River to Golden West in Huntington Beach and
1.5 miles inland (nine square miles). PSG reviewed an environmental search of various databases
provided by Vista Information Solutions, Inc. The environmental search identified two landfills
and the District’s Plant No. 2 facility as potential sources. The following sections discuss why
Plant No. 2 and other District facilities in the area were eliminated as potential sources. The two
landfills were not considered likely contamination sources because their contaminants were
mostly hazardous waste and not bacteria. In addition, the sites’ ages would have precluded
bacteria from living long enough to suddenly start impacting the beach.

Aerial photographs (1927, 1928, 1938, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1967, 1981, and 1999) were reviewed
by PSG and purchased for the District’s permanent library. Based on PSG’s analysis of the
current and historical drainage patterns, it was concluded that the storm drain channels exiting
through Talbert Marsh were the most likely contamination route.

District’s Plant No. 2 Facility

The District’s Plant No. 2 facility was considered a Priority 2 potential source of contamination
due to its proximity to the beach and the level of potential contaminates. This potential source
was investigated by questioning plant operators about their knowledge of leaking pipes, by a
series of hydropunches along the property line and onshore section of the outfall structures, as
well as visual inspection of facilities (Appendix G).

On August 26, 1999, two hydopunches were performed beside the District’s 78-inch diameter and
120-inch diameter outfalls. On August 28, 1999, three hydropunch samples were collected along
the District’s Plant No. 2 south perimeter, between the plant and the Talbert Marsh. No elevated
bacteria levels were detected in any of these samples, which indicated that sewage was not
seeping into the groundwater and leaving the property.

City of Huntington Beach/County
Storm Water Pump Stations

As infrastructure inspections demonstrated
that the District’s system was intact, the
source investigation turned to urban runoff
sources. These sources were considered a
Priority 2 because they are conduits for urban
runoff to enter the surfzone. Although urban
runoff in southern California has been
implicated as an increased health risk for
swimmers, the storm drain system is separate
from the sanitary sewer system so human
waste should not be present in runoff.

The City of Huntington Beach and the County
of Orange operate storm water pump stations                Figure 18: Storm Water Pump Station
that collect urban runoff in the forebays




                                                  20
                                                                                     Final Report Volume 1



(Figure 2). The forebays are emptied into the storm water channels by electric pumps that are
triggered when the forebay water reaches a programmed level (Figure 18). Bacteriological
examination of the water in the pump station forebays from the City’s Banning, Atlanta, and
Newland stations and the County’s Adams station revealed total coliform levels that, at times,
exceeded 160,000 mpn/100 mL, and fecal coliform levels were in the thousands (Appendix M).
Because of these analyses, the storm water discharge was diverted from these pump stations
to the District’s sewer collection system.

Sanitary sewers historically try to eliminate all storm water from entering the sewer system.
By allowing diversion of urban runoff into the sanitary sewer, the District is now faced with
developing dry-weather nuisance flow permit requirements. In the interim, the District has
issued special discharge permits for the three City of Huntington Beach storm water pump
stations to continue discharging to the sewer. During rain events, the City’s pump stations
will be disconnected from the sewer.

The County stopped discharging to the District’s sewer on October 4, 1999. Their urban
runoff is stored in a retarding basin across the street, where the water evaporates and percolates
into the ground.

Urban Runoff: Talbert Channel and Santa Ana River

In an effort to asses the impacts of urban runoff on the beach, investigation turned to the Talbert
Channels, the Talbert Marsh, and the Santa Ana River.

One important note in the urban runoff investigation is that natural sand berms occasionally build
up across the mouth of the Talbert Marsh preventing most of the water from entering the ocean.
According County of Orange, Public Facilities and Resources Department (PFRD), such a berm
was in place between June 14, 1999, and July 15, 1999. Water backed up in the channels and
caused the water levels to rise significantly. It is equally important to note that during this period
of minimal exchange between the marsh and the surfzone, there were significantly elevated
bacteria levels seen at the surfzone monitoring stations. However, there was no berm impeding
flow from the Santa Ana River during this period.

Talbert Channel and Offshore Water Quality and Transport Mechanism Survey
Bacteriological examination of the water in three City and one County storm water pump station
forebays revealed elevated levels of indicator bacteria (Appendix M) that caused the City of
Huntington Beach to divert the discharge from their storm water pump stations to the District’s
sewer collection system.

While the City was considering diversion of their storm water flows into the sewer system,
District’s staff and MEC Analytical, an oceanographic consultant for the District, planned a
survey of the Talbert Marsh as a possible transport mechanism for the contamination. The
marsh study took place on August 30, 1999, and had the following objectives (Appendix E):

    •   Investigate the level of contamination and transport mechanisms of the water from the
        Talbert Marsh that includes water from the Huntington Beach and Talbert Channels;
    •   Determine whether one of the District’s outfall pipes (120-inch diameter in-service
        outfall and/or the 78-inch diameter emergency outfall) was leaking (see the Offshore
        Transects portion of the OCSD 120-inch Diameter Nearshore Outfall section); and




                                                  21
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



     •    Investigate the potential shoreward transport of effluent from the District’s
          outfall diffuser plume located five miles offshore (see preceding section on
          OCSD Discharge Plume).

The water quality and bacterial results did not suggest any significantly contaminated water
in the storm water channels, Talbert Marsh, or any of the District’s offshore facilities. Because
the storm water pump stations did not discharge to the flood control channel after August 29,
1999, the District’s survey could not trace any bacteria from the surfzone to the pump stations
during the August 30, 1999 study.

The water transport mechanisms were tested by dropping fruit in the channels and at the
mouth of the marsh. The longshore current was determined to be 1–4 mph during the test period.
A significant number of oranges (34 out of 50) were retrieved in the region where high bacteria
levels were observed (6N–9N). Many of the grapefruit and oranges released in the Talbert
Channel were beached on the side of the channel, but some demonstrated the transport
mechanism flowing out of the channel to the marsh.

Talbert Marsh Overnight Bacterial Survey
Because the District/MEC Analytical study (above section) did not show conclusive patterns
that would provide evidence of a source for the contamination, an overnight survey of the Talbert
Marsh discharge was performed on September 8–9, 1999. This survey was an attempt to
determine whether bacteria leave the marsh at low tides and enter the surfzone.

Total coliform, E. coli, and enterococci densities were measured at the point where the marsh
exits to the ocean beginning at 23:00 hours on September 8, 1999, and every half hour afterward
until 04:00 on September 9, 1999. A high tide of 6.4 feet occurred at 20:31 hours. Samples were
taken at the upcoast and downcoast banks of the channel as well as in the middle of the channel
from the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) bridge. Results indicated a rise in total coliform
concentrations beginning at 02:30 hours, but no E. coli or enterococci levels higher than the
anticipated background levels were seen through the entire sampling period (Appendix N).

As part of this study, samples were also collected in the surfzone at 1,000-foot intervals upcoast
of the channel, at high tide (approximately 20:30 hours) on the evening of September 8, 1999,
and at approximately 07:00 hours on September 9, 1999. Levels of all of the three indicator
bacteria were at or below the detection level at the beach on the evening of September 8, 1999.
On the morning of September 9, 1999, enterococci levels exceeded state standards at 3N, 4N, 5N,
6N, and 9N. Fecal coliform standards were exceeded at 4N. Sampling in the marsh did not reveal
levels of fecal coliform or enterococci that could account for those levels measured on the beach
on September 9, 1999.

This marsh study proved to be inconclusive because the bacteria levels seen on the beach on
September 9, 1999 were not detected in water samples collected at the marsh exit. However,
the question remains as to whether the indicator levels measured at the beach that morning could
have come from the marsh or the Santa Ana River during the three-hour period between 04:00
and 07:00 on September 9, 1999.

Santa Ana River Study
The Santa Ana River was evaluated as a potential source of beach contamination with a study
design similar that of the above Talbert Marsh survey. The Surfrider Foundation provided




                                                  22
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1



volunteers to assist the District’s staff with the sampling that was performed over consecutive low
tide cycles during two nights (Appendix O).

Samples were collected at 30-minute intervals from three locations across the outlet of the river
at the PCH bridge and at the terminus of the Newport Slough, which drains into the Santa Ana
River just to the north of the Pacific Coast Highway bridge. Prior to the river and slough
sampling, surfzone samples were collected at 0, 2N, 4N, and 6N. At the end of the sampling
period, surfzone samples were collected at 1,000-foot intervals between 0 and 8N (8,000 feet
upcoast.) Sampling was performed from 20:00 hours on September 22, 1999, to 05:00 hours
on the September 23, 1999. On September 23, 1999, sampling began again at 21:00 hours and
continued through 05:30 hours on the September 24, 1999.

Indicator densities increased as the night progressed during both evenings. However, neither
mornings’ surfzone monitoring results had elevated bacteria indicator levels that could not be
explained by levels seen exiting the river.

Power Plant Outfalls

The power plant intake and discharge outfalls were classified as a Priority 3. This ranking was
assigned not because there was a high potential for the seawater to become contaminated as it
traveled through the facility, but for two other reasons. First, a small city storm drain pumping
station was connected to the outfall structure. Second, the construction materials around the
outfall pipes offered a potential mechanism for contaminates to travel across the beach, and to
the nearshore waters. Water in the facility’s holding basins, groundwater between and beside
the discharge pipes, and water from the outfall discharge was analyzed for indicator bacteria.
No elevated bacteria levels were detected in any of the samples (Appendix P).

On July 22, 23, 29, and August 9, 1999, OCHCA sampled a City of Huntington Beach storm
drain (Dilk’s Ditch) that pumps storm water into the power plant, and water from in the holding
basin prior to discharged through the power plant’s outfall. The July 1999 samples all had levels
of total coliform in the hundreds or non-detectable range and E. coli levels were less than
100 mpn/100 mL. The August 9, 1999 Dilk’s Ditch sample contained 2,400 mpn/100 mL total
coliform and 20 mpn/100 mL E. coli. A drainpipe near the wildlife refuge was sampled on
August 9, 1999. The total coliform level in this sample was 3,000 mpn/100 mL and the E. coli
level was 2,282 mpn/100 mL. However, no transport mechanism to the beach could be identified.
In addition, their respective volumes and bacterial content could not independently account for
the elevated bacteria levels at the beach.

Offshore water samples were collected over the power plant’s water cooling pipes on July 27
and 29 and August 13, 1999, by the District. OCHCA collected samples on July 24, and
August 13, 1999. Some of these samples contained slightly elevated levels of total coliform
in the one-hundreds per 100 mL range, but there were no levels of fecal coliform or enterococci
that could account for the beach contamination. The slightly elevated samples were most likely
a product of the onshore contamination moving offshore.

Hydropunching (described in the District’s Coast Trunkline section) was also used as a tool
to determine if the bedding around the power plant’s outfalls was acting as a transportation
mechanism for the contamination. Samples were taken on August 9, 11, and 21, 1999, between
and beside the power plant’s outfalls. None of these samples demonstrated elevated levels
of bacteria.




                                                 23
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



On August 22 and 29, 1999, OCHCA sampled the holding basin on the power plant property.
This basin empties into the ocean by gravity, and there is a connection to the basin from a parking
lot on-site. Indicator densities in this basin were also low.

Power Plant Facility

The power plant was classified as Priority 4 because the facility does not have enough sewage
or other bacteria sources to cause the high concentrations of bacteria on the beach. However,
to eliminate it as a potential source, OCHCA collected groundwater monitoring well samples,
as well as various other grab samples from around the power plant facility (Appendix P).

On August 6 and 9, 1999, twelve on-site groundwater monitoring wells were tested for total
coliform and E. coli. Coliform levels at the wells were less than the detection limit.

Dewatering from Construction Site

A construction site, at the corner of Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway (Figures 1
and 9), was dewatering between July 16, 1999, and October 7, 1999. Nearly one million gallons
of groundwater per day were being pumped from the ground, filtered, and discharged to a storm
drain that flowed into the Atlanta storm water pump station and the Huntington Beach Channel
(Figure 2). The dewatering operation was considered to be a Priority 4 because the water was
treated prior to discharge into the storm drain. The RWQCB discharge permit required extensive
sampling including toxicity analyses, which confirmed the discharge was not contaminated
(Appendix Q). On August 31, 1999, the District sampled the groundwater before it was filtered.
The sample showed no contamination. However, because of the question of this flow’s impact
on the hydrodynamics of the flood channels and marsh, it too was diverted from the flood control
channel on August 29, 1999. It was subsequently rerouted into the District’s sewer.




                                                  24
                                                                                    Final Report Volume 1




Investigation Costs
As the lead organization in the investigation of the Huntington Beach closure, the District
incurred significant costs associated with its due diligence efforts.

Thus far, based on purchase orders and other data, it is estimated that the District has spent nearly
$1.4 million on all efforts related to this investigation. These costs are detailed on Table 4 and
summarized below in Table 3.

                              Table 3: Summary of District’s Costs
                                    (as of September 30, 1999)

                                   Activity                                        District’s Costs
   Coast Trunkline Siphon Investigation                                                $   529,178
   Characteristic and Investigative Studies at Huntington Beach
     and Surrounding Areas                                                                 255,184
   Sewer Inspection and Rehabilitation Services                                              90,281
   In-house Lab Services                                                                   146,975
   Other Administrative Costs and Reimbursements                                           360,592

                                                DISTRICT TOTAL COST                    $ 1,382,210



The costs in Table 3 and Table 4 are categorized according to their respective functional areas,
as described as below.

   Coast Trunk Siphon Project
   The Coast Trunk Siphon Project began as an investigative effort to discover the probable
   cause of the Huntington Beach elevated bacteria levels. It transitioned into a Capital
   Improvement Project (CIP) to retrofit and narrow the siphon. The CIP costs for siphon
   rehabilitation have been itemized separately and not included as part of the overall Huntington
   Beach Investigation. This work would not have been accomplished in the foreseeable future
   without the cleaning and leak investigation that led to the siphon’s re-engineering. Although
   no leak was discovered, the siphon was re-designed to improve its efficiency.

   Vicinity Characteristics Research
   These projects included the various studies designed to identify the possible source(s) of the
   Huntington Beach contamination.

   Sewer Inspection/Rehabilitation Services
   These projects included visual inspection, televising, and rehabilitation of sewer infrastructure
   around the Huntington Beach area. State Parks will be reimbursing the District for a large
   portion of these costs as reflected in the Other Agency Costs to the District line item in the
   District’s Costs section of Table 4.




                                                 25
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




           Table 4: Updated Agency Costs for Huntington Beach Closure Investigation
                                  (as of September 30, 1999)

                                                            Revenue Area 11
                                 Activity                 (RA 11) vs.Joint Cost               Cost

    DISTRICT COST BREAKDOWN
    Coast Trunkline Siphon Investigation
      Flow Monitoring Studies                                     RA11                $     18,065
      Siphon Leak Investigation and Cleaning
        (including Newland area cleaning) (est.)                  RA11                     382,078
      Siphon Debris Hauling                                       RA11                       7,577
      Diversion Structure (est.)                                  RA11                     121,458

                                                                           Subtotal   $    529,178
    Vicinity Characteristics Research
       Ground Penetrating Radar                                    Joint              $      9,720
       Beach Surveying and Hydropunching (est.)                    Joint                    81,000
       Archived Docs Review and Aerial Photo (est.)                Joint                     7,075
       MEC Talbert Marsh Study and Correlations (est.)             Joint                    75,000
       Outfall Dye Project (est.)                                  Joint                    82,389
                                                                           Subtotal   $    255,184
    Sewer Inspection/Rehabilitation Services
      CCTV/Clean Huntington State Beach Area                  Reimbursable                  27,590
      CCTV/Clean Lower Revenue Area 11                           RA11                        5,928
      Other line cleaning services                               RA11                       11,941
      Sewer Repair Services for State Parks (est.)            Reimbursable                  20,822
      Potholing beside Lines (est.)                              RA11                       24,000
                                                                           Subtotal   $     90,281
    In-house Laboratory Services
       Fully-burdened Sample Costs (through 11/8)                  Joint              $     93,175
       Enchanter Boat                                              Joint                     2,800
       In-kind Laboratory Services for December 1999
         UCI Talbert Marsh Study (est.)                            Joint                    51,000
                                                                           Subtotal   $    146,975
    Other Administrative Costs
       Documents, Mapping, etc.                                    Joint              $      1,274
       Accumulated Staff Time (through 9/30/99) (est.)     Reflective of Project           411,000
                                                            Phase Allocations

                                                                           Subtotal   $    412,274

    Other Agency Costs to the District
       Outstanding Reimbursement from State Parks                                     ($    51,682)

                                                       TOTAL DISTRICT COSTS           $ 1,382,210




                                                  26
                                                                                   Final Report Volume 1




        Table 4: Updated Agency Costs for Huntington Beach Closure Investigation
                               (as of September 30, 1999)

                                                             Revenue Area 11
                          Activity                         (RA 11) vs.Joint Cost               Cost

  ** OTHER DISTRICT COST
   Down-Size Siphon
     Siphon Engineering and Retrofit                               RA11            ** $    195,000
     (estimate, not including labor and staff time)

  ** Not included in overall project cost or accumulated staff time through 9/30/99


  OTHER AGENCY COST BREAKDOWN
   City of Huntington Beach                                                           $    335,133
   California State Department of Parks and
     Recreation (State Parks)                                                              121,869
   Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA)                                                 75,959
   Orange County Public Facilities and Resources
     Department (PFRD)                                                                      28,555
                                             TOTAL OTHER AGENCY COSTS                 $    561,516

  TOTAL PROJECT COSTS (including all agencies and the District)                       $ 1,943,726


   In-house Laboratory Services
   These represent the fully burdened costs associated with taking and testing bacteria samples
   related to the closure. They include the lab staff time necessary for testing, the costs of the
   boat used for taking offshore samples, and in-kind services contributed to UCI’s December
   1999 Talbert Marsh study.

   Other Administrative Costs
   These are largely made up of the remaining staff time involved in the Huntington
   Beach investigation. It includes meetings, research, EOC activities, communication and
   documentation efforts, and extraordinary services and overtime paid to staff. As of October
   1999, 6,300 District-staff hours have been dedicated to this investigative effort. The reported
   costs are fully burdened with the appropriate District’s overhead rates. As a result, the average
   fully burdened hourly rate for the participating staff is approximately $89 per hour.

In addition to District costs, other participating agencies (City of Huntington Beach, OCHCA,
State Parks, and PFRD) have provided the District with their estimated costs through the end
of September 1999 (Table 4). It should be noted that these figures are not audited and will use
different overhead rates and other methods for capturing costs than the District. Nevertheless,
the figures provide a representation of what the costs have been incurred by the participating
agencies. They were categorized by the agencies as follows:




                                                 27
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I



    City of Huntington Beach
    The City categorized their costs as administrative, support activities, equipment, and
    contract services. The vast majority of costs were allocated to Contract Services and
    Administrative efforts.

    Orange County Health Care Agency
    OCHCA categorized their costs as laboratory and staff time.

    California State Department of Parks and Recreation
    State Parks categorized their costs as CCTV/project work and staff time.

    Orange County Public Facilities and Resources Department
    PFRD captured their costs as labor and equipment, investigation and inspection, and
    management and administration costs. The bulk of these costs were allocated to labor
    and equipment.

The District’s project costs will increase, though not dramatically, as the data is refined and
the vendor invoices arrive. The District’s staff is working cooperatively with the participating
agencies to develop an equitable cost-sharing plan related to the ongoing portion of this project.




                                                  28
                                                                                    Final Report Volume 1




Continuing Studies
The District’s investigation eliminated District’s facilities as a probable source of the bacterial
contamination. However, the investigation only resulted in circumstantial evidence pointing to
urban runoff as the source of the beach contamination. This report serves as the conclusion to the
first phase of the beach contamination investigation. Subsequent phase(s) of the investigation will
rely on follow-up and ongoing studies to determine where to focus investigative efforts.
These ongoing studies are noted below.

Statistical Correlation Study

The District has hired MEC Analytical to review the available environmental data to determine
if there are correlations between any of the variables.

UCI Talbert Marsh Study

Dr. Stanley Grant with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), is conducting a major
follow-up study of the bacteria flux through the mouth of the Talbert Marsh. Funding was
provided by the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) and the participating Municipal
Stormwater Program co-permittees which include the County of Orange and the cities of Costa
Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Santa Ana. The District contributed in-kind
laboratory services in support of this study.

Next Phase Investigation Consultant

The City of Huntington Beach, County of Orange, and the District are hiring an environmental
consultant to review the Phase I Investigation, develop a workplan, and perform various tasks
associated with the next phase of the investigation to pinpoint the source of contamination and
make recommendations.

Enterococcus Archiving

The District is archiving enterococcus for potential antibiotic resistivity and genetic
fingerprinting studies.

Expert Scientific Panel

The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) and USC Sea Grant are
organizing an expert panel to meet in February 2000. The panel is charged with reviewing the
investigation and writing a guidance manual for future investigations based on this experience.

District’s Ongoing Ocean Monitoring Program

The District has been conducting an extensive ocean monitoring ocean program since 1985.
Program findings conclude that public health and the marine environment are not negatively
impacted by the District’s ocean discharge. Several special studies are presently underway to
develop better tools for tracking the movement of the offshore effluent plume and the settling
characteristics of effluent particles.




                                                 29
Huntington Beach Closure Investigation, Phase I




Discussion of Lessons Learned
This investigation demonstrated the importance of cataloging potential sources of beach
contamination. By categorizing potential sources, decisions can then be made to mobilize
resources based on priority and potential of the sources to be at the root of the problem.
The initial beach closure was due to suspected sewage contamination. Consequently, the
investigation first examined the nearly 240 million gallons of non-disinfected wastewater
released each day into dynamic waters between four and five miles offshore. Concurrent with
the offshore work, onshore beach restrooms, the District’s trunkline, and other major sewer lines
were also given a high-priority in the investigation. It was not until these potential sources were
nearly eliminated before sources further from the initial zone of contamination were investigated.

As the investigation moved inland, it took on more of a watershed approach. A watershed
approach demonstrated the importance of interagency cooperation. City-owned conveyance
mechanisms designed to carry storm water and urban nuisance flows from the local communities
had to be identified and understood. County agencies responsible for construction, operation,
and maintenance of the watershed flood control channels needed to be involved with the
investigation. Drawings, pump logs, and other information became critical to the understanding
of the watershed (e.g., the sand berm that had to be mechanically breached during July 1999
became part of the overall picture). The conservancy that owns and operates the Talbert Marsh
also needed to be involved.

The beach closure pointed out the importance of open dialogue between the public, city leaders,
and the health care agency on economic versus health care interests. Specifically with regard to
the newly enacted AB 411 legislation, the closure resulted in discussions regarding policy on how
to reopen a beach when there is uncertainty about the source of contamination and the potential
for its transport.

The incident demonstrated the importance of sharing information from many agencies involved
in managing the waters of the watershed to obtain an understanding of inputs into the watershed,
an understanding of the watershed’s interaction with the ocean, and what happens to the water
once it reaches the ocean. Understanding this complex system requires experts from multiple
disciplines as well as a task force comprised of all the agencies involved to manage the system.

Although a direct link between beach bacteria levels and the inland pump stations, the Santa
Ana River, the Talbert Marsh, and storm drain channels was never demonstrated, the diversion
of the pump stations into the regional sewers resulted in a decrease in beach bacteria levels.
This circumstantial evidence required the District to re-evaluate its operational philosophy of not
allowing urban runoff into the sanitary sewer system. This change in thinking requires the District
to develop a coordinated runoff policy. Because the bacteria levels did not completely subside
after the storm water pump stations were diverted, it is also important to ensure funding for
ongoing research such as the UCI Talbert Marsh study described above.

Finally, this incident demonstrated the level of interest beach closures generate with the
community and the media. The District included the media throughout the investigation,
and it is that decision to which the overall balanced reporting is accredited.




                                                  30
                                                                                     Final Report Volume 1




Conclusions and Recommendations
In conclusion, the exact cause of the elevated bacteria levels seen over the summer of 1999
was not directly proven. The District’s $1.4 million investigation identified possible sources,
eliminated most of them, and provided direction for future investigations. Facilities owned and
operated by the District in the area of the beach contamination were successfully eliminated as
 a possible source of the contamination through the rigors of the investigation.

In the end, the investigation came up with only circumstantial evidence pointing to urban
runoff as the source of the beach contamination. The natural sand berm blocking the mouth
of the Talbert Marsh at the end of June 1999 would have ruled out the marsh as a main factor
in the first beach closure. The Santa Ana River was not bermed at that time, so the river could
have played a yet undetermined role in that contamination. Clearly, bacteria levels declined and
the number of instances where indicator levels exceeded state standards decreased when the
pump stations were diverted into the District’s sewers. However, diversion of these flows did not
result in low bacteria levels all the time. The fact that the relative relationships between levels of
total coliform, fecal coliform, and enterococci changed as the summer progressed also
complicates implicating a single source.

By all indications, this incident was the result of a convergence of several factors:

    •   Indicator bacteria levels and fingerprint during the initial problem appeared
        to be the result of sewage contamination;
    •   Identifying a predictable pattern for contamination was illusive, suggesting
        that the source was intermittent;
    •   Monitoring data revealed a change in the indicator profile that changed
        as the summer progressed;
    •   AB 411 legislation caused the Health Officer to react to monitoring data
        on a daily basis;
    •   Public attention to the issue resulted in more monitoring and more reaction
        by the Health Officer; and
    •   The illusive, intermittent, and unpredictable nature of the contamination caused
        the Health Officer to continue to close the beach rather than post it, which would
        have been standard procedure under AB 411 had not all the other factors converged.




                                                  31
                           Acknowledgements

       The Orange County Sanitation District would like to sincerely thank
the following agencies and organizations for their participation and cooperation
         in looking for the source of the Huntington Beach contamination.

        City of Huntington Beach
        County of Orange, Harbors Beaches & Parks
        County of Orange, Health Care Agency
        County of Orange, Public Facilities and Resources Department
        Hilton Pacific Grand Resort and the Robert Mayer Corporation
        Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, 45th United States Senate District
        Honorable Scott Baugh, 67th California Assembly District
        Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy
        Orange County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District, Representative James Silva
        Orange County District Attorney's Office, Environmental Protection Unit
        Orange County Water District
        State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation
        State of California, Regional Water Quality Control Board
        Surfrider Foundation
        U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
        U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
        U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
        U.S. Dept. of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office


           Most importantly, the District would like to acknowledge
               its dedicated staff, contractors, and consultants
               for their extraordinary efforts and commitment
                             to this investigation.
 Orange County Sanitation District
P.O. Box 8127, Fountain Valley, CA 92728-8127
  10844 Ellis, Fountain Valley, CA 92708-7018
   Ph: (714) 962-2411 Fax: (714) 962-3071
            Website: www.ocsd.com

				
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