Sewage gushed out from a manhole on Marguerite Ave. spilling down West Blithedale and into the Blithedale Canyon creek on Sunday.
Public Works Director Jill Barnes said the department received a call at 11:15 a.m. Crews estimate about 2,250 gallons of waste spilled into the water. They were able to clean up about 750 gallons from the street and pump in back into the sewer.
They also removed a couple of large tree branches, which caused the blockage.
"It would seem that someone would have to open the manhole and put something that large into the sewer," Barnes said.
The city took water samples on Sunday, and is currently waiting for test results to determine the amount of bacteria present. Barnes said they're also working with county environmental agencies, and have posted signs along the creek to notify residents of the contamination.
The spill was confined to the street and the creek, and didn't affect any homes in Blithedale Canyon.
"We will continue to sample everyday until we start to get readings that indicate no contamination," Barnes said.
But, the response time was perhaps not quick enough. A woman posted on the Mill Valley Patch Facebook page Sunday afternoon that her neighbor reported the incident around 7:30 a.m., and cleanup efforts didn't start until 1:30 p.m.
"Where is the urgency here??!!," she wrote. "They still have not posted signs downstream even though I've called repeatedly. The guy here casually said he'll put them up in 40 minutes. I'm sorry, but kids and dogs play in there, and this is a much too casual a response. I am very upset and disappointed to say the least!!!"
Barnes said those calls are usually reported to the Mill Valley Police Department.
"Typically they go to the police dispatch," she said. "We're looking for the police dispatch report for this incident."
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