Posted Sun., April 13—Preliminary results from testing water collected from the Berkeley Aquatic Park last week after a sewage spill showed no contamination, city officials told the Planet on Friday, but a section of the lagoon remained closed to the public throughout the weekend.
A sewage spill discovered at Bayer Healthcare’s Berkeley campus on Monday prompted the city’s Division of Environmental Health to prohibit human contact with water in a section of the Aquatic Park.
The city’s Environmental Health Manager Manuel Ramirez told the Planet Friday that the city had determined the spill amount to be approximately 1,170 gallons of sewage.
He added that the shoreline from Bancroft Way to Carleton Street would be off limits until Monday, when the final test results will be available.
“The spill is on the small scale, when compared to the millions of [gallons of ] sewage spilled in Marin County recently,” he said. “The preliminary results show there was no impact from the sewage, but we will need final test results to confirm that.”
The spill, which occurred from a city-owned blocked pipe, carries human waste and clean water from Bayer’s administrative buildings at 800 Dwight Way, Bayer’s Community Outreach Manager Trina Ostrander told the Planet.
Bayer’s Berkeley campus, located next to Aquatic Park, is the company’s global center for hemophilia and cardiology pharmaceuticals, and manufactures Kogenate, a large protein pharmaceutical that treats hemophilia.
Ostrander said that a couple of Bayer employees had discovered the spill and notified the campus emergency response team.
Ramirez said that prohibiting human contact with water in the area most likely affected was a precautionary measure. The human feces found in sewage can contain fecal coliform bacteria, which produce pathogens which could infect humans with diseases.