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Rusty, Exposed Storm Drain Pipes Pose A Danger At Pacifica Beach

PACIFICA (KPIX 5) – Jagged, rusting metal pipes are posing a danger to beach-goers on the peninsula.

The old storm drains all along Pacifica Beach, between the Pacifica pier and Mori Point. Sometimes they are covered by sand and sometimes they are fully exposed.

"It's a liability waiting to happen," said Pacifica resident Doug Robbins.

And the Pacifica's Public Works Department admits it's a hazard.

Pacifica Public Works Director Van Ocampo said, "We have put a sign to keep children off so that they don't get hurt."

Ocampo said, "It's a liability and we're going to be taking care of it as soon as possible."

He says they disconnected the drain more than a decade ago when the old treatment plant shut down.

It sat there corroding for years.

Ocampo said, "The goal is to hook it back up once that property gets developed."

We asked him: Is that why the city never removed it from the beach?

"Yes, in fact that's why we have a permit for it. And reestablishing an existing permit is much easier than putting a new one in," Ocampo said.

But, that's not the only storm drain along the beach. There are several others south of the pier.

But Pacifica says those are the City and County of San Francisco's responsibility.

While a wave of questions about the old drains are answered, some members of the community say the explanation is not enough.

Doug Robbins said, "I mean it's not being used ... so it's obviously, you know, rotting away."

The City of San Francisco said it is going to look into its storm drains and get back to us.

In Pacifica, city officials say they will repair one storm drain pipe but have not given us a specific date.

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