IRVINE ( — Orange County water quality workers are trying to get to the bottom of how a pipe carrying sewage from the Doubletree Hotel in Irvine become connected to a storm drain.

The system ultimately dumps into Newport Beach’s ecologically sensitive Back Bay.  No evidence of human waste was discovered there or upstream along the network of pipes, according to county public works official, Shannon Weedoor.

“I think it should be investigated to see if it actually happened and if something did happen,” a cyclist said. “The hotel is responsible they should be made to pay the price.”

The discovery was made in early December, during routine maintenance by a county crew. The city of Irvine confirms that a line carrying raw sewage was not connected to the main sewer line as it should have been. An accident an official says was corrected immediately.

An Irvine city spokesman says he is certain that sewage did not flow into the Back Bay.

The sewage would have had to have traveled three miles through a network of pipes from the hotel. What isn’t known is how long that sewage line was improperly connected which could help determine exactly how much sewage flowed into the storm drain.

The general manager of the Doubletree gave us this statement.

“This is an unfortunate incident. The moment we found out we rectified it. We are still working with the city and county to make sure we remain in compliance.”

The hotel, near the Irvine Spectrum, was built 17 years ago. The county continues to search for answers into how long the pipe had been connected to the wrong system. The storm drain has been completely cleaned.


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