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Jury Cites Improper Action After Murphys Sewage Spill

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Murphys, CA — In a rare event, the Calaveras County Grand Jury has released an early report on its investigation into a raw sewage spill in the town of Murphys.

Normally, the report would have been released with the rest of the jury´s investigations in June. But, the jury says the report´s recommendations require a timely response.

The jury investigated a 150,000-gallon spill of raw sewage into Angels Creek, also known as Murphys Creek, on November 26 and 27, 2006. The creek is a source of drinking water for Angels Camp residents.

The Murphys Sanitary District was cited for the spill by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The jury says there was improper notification to the regulatory agencies and to the media following the spill. This resulted in local agencies not being notified of the spill by the state Office of Emergency Services, as is required by law.

The jury also says the Calaveras County Department of Environmental Health did not follow up on the spill after a message was left on voice mail.

The jury has made recommendations for the agencies to fix the problems and is awaiting their response.

The grand jury is convened every year to review county government and special districts. The final report is due June 30 and is a compilation of the jury´s findings on its various investigations.

Written by Vanessa Turner.