SAN MATEO -- Water quality in Laurel Creek has improved significantly since last week's detection of a raw sewage leak, city officials said Wednesday, but it remains unsafe for the public to touch or go near the water.
The Public Works Department determined Friday that a sewer main in a ravine beneath the intersection of state Highway 92 and West Hillsdale Boulevard had broken, sending a stream of wastewater into Laurel Creek through a drainage channel.
Visitors to Laurelwood Park in the San Mateo hills had noticed a foul smell emanating from the creek by July 24, or earlier, but it took days for the city to correctly diagnose the problem.
Public works crews and contractors contained the leak by Friday afternoon and began pumping contaminated water out of the creek. The broken sewer main was repaired by Monday morning, according to Gary DeJesus, the city's deputy director of environmental services.
The city has been sampling the water daily since Friday, DeJesus said, and conditions are steadily improving. But it is still too early, he said, to remove signs in the park warning people to stay away from the creek.
Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357. Follow him at Twitter.com/kinneytimes.