Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica has reopened after being closed for five days following torrential rain that caused sewer overflows into the ocean. The beach was closed on Oct. 24 after the storm dumped 6.87 inches of rain on Pacifica. It reopened on Friday with permission from the county’s environmental health services.

The city experienced significant impacts from the storm that hit the Bay Area over the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24, which included water intrusion into the city’s sewer system. That overwhelmed the city’s Linda Mar pump station, Petersen wrote in a press release issued on Friday.

Petersen said the Linda Mar pump station remained functioning. As has happened in the past with large storm events, the city was forced to bypass some of the pump station flow to the beach outfall pipe. Once this occurs, the city is required to close Pacifica State Beach for a minimum of three days or until bacteria testing results allow for reopening. The San Mateo County Health Department notified the city on the afternoon of Oct. 29 that the beach could be reopened to the public following review of the ocean testing, Petersen wrote.

The city’s equalization basin allowed the Calera Creek Water Recycling Plant to continue to operate without failures, and process 17 million gallons a day when it typically processes 4 million gallons a day, Petersen wrote.

City officials pointed to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggesting the storm was a 100-year event, having a probability of once every 100 years. But experts warn that climate change makes it difficult to base policy and infrastructure decisions on past weather data.

After the spill, the city tested the water off Linda Mar Beach daily.

Jane Northrop has covered Pacifica for the Pacifica Tribune since 1996. She has won first place John Swett Awards from the California Teachers Association for her coverage of education.

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