Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Sept. 27

1,500 gallons of raw sewage drains into Sedona’s Oak Creek

A map shows where the raw sewage spill occurred at the El Camino Lift Station in Sedona. It is estimated approximately 1,500 gallons of untreated liquid effluent spilled into a nearby wash. That wash flows into Carroll Canyon Wash, which ultimately drains into Oak Creek near the Crescent Moon Ranch area, approximately 2.7 miles downstream. (City of Sedona/Courtesy)

A map shows where the raw sewage spill occurred at the El Camino Lift Station in Sedona. It is estimated approximately 1,500 gallons of untreated liquid effluent spilled into a nearby wash. That wash flows into Carroll Canyon Wash, which ultimately drains into Oak Creek near the Crescent Moon Ranch area, approximately 2.7 miles downstream. (City of Sedona/Courtesy)

SEDONA — Heavy rains Friday caused a raw sewage spill of nearly 1,500 gallons into the Carroll Canyon wash, causing the City of Sedona to do a study of its E.coli levels this past weekend, according to a news release.

Water quality counts taken from Oak Creek in the morning of July 24 show E.coli levels at all test sites above the state and federal limits for recreational swimming, according to the City of Sedona.

“This is believed to be due from the heavy rain events experienced this weekend, after almost no 2020 monsoon season,” the city said in a statement Monday, July 26. “The 235 CFU/100 mL of water limit is a surface water quality standard specific to E.coli set to protect public health.”

At around 4 p.m. Friday, July 23, rain water inundated the City of Sedona’s El Camino Lift Station at 700 El. Camino Rd. and overwhelmed the pump system, causing a sewage spill to occur. The spill was stopped within 30 minutes.

It is estimated approximately 1,500 gallons of untreated liquid effluent spilled into a nearby wash.

That wash flows into Carroll Canyon Wash, which ultimately drains into Oak Creek near the Crescent Moon Ranch area, approximately 2.7 miles downstream.

“The untreated liquid effluent entering Oak Creek is highly diluted by the rain occurring at the time of the spill. For context, the volume of effluent translates to approximately 0.11 cubic feet per second. For comparison, Oak Creek’s rate of flow during this rain event was just under 900 cubic feet per second,” a city statement read.

The results were sent to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The City of Sedona is encouraging residents to take extreme caution when swimming in Oak Creek, especially after storm events when E.coli levels are highest.

“The immediately affected areas near Crescent Moon Ranch swimming area have signage posted warning of high levels of E.coli,” the city stated.

The city also hand-delivered information on this spill to residents near Crescent Moon Ranch with direct creek access located downstream from the spill.

For sewer spill emergencies, call the city’s sewer emergency hotline at 928-203-5180.

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