Cement spill clogs Glen Echo Creek in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tons of cement dumped into an East Bay Creek by accident, causing days of cleanup ahead. Wildlife officials now must figure out how much damage has been done in Oakland's Upper Rockridge Neighborhood.

Glen Echo Creek is literally clogged up with cement and the water is being diverted from the storm drain to the sewer, where it will be treated.

The creek behind townhomes on Clarewood Lane had water flowing in it because of recent rain and normally the water in the creek can reach Lake Merritt.

About 140 cubic yards of a material called "cellular cement" flowed into the creek for about half a mile.

EBMUD spokesperson Abby Figueroa said, "There was a valve that was inadvertently left open while this pipe filling was going on. That was a mistake that should not have happened."

EBMUD crews have been replacing a 24-inch pipeline in the Upper Rockridge Neighborhood. As the work is wrapping up, a sub-contractor is filling the old pipe with cement.

The filling began at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and around 11 a.m. a neighbor noticed the cement in the creek and notified EBMUD. Crews found the open valve around noon. Since then, workers and vacuum trucks have been removing the mess.

"We expect it to take about three days for cleanup, then we'll start with the restoration of the creek to return it back to normal," Figueroa said.

Neighbors have all been notified about the work. Water agencies and Fish and Game have also been called. EBMUD biologists are taking samples and monitoring the water down creek.
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