California beaches closed as over 8 millions gallons of sewage spills in

On Friday, city officials said in a news release that all beaches in Long Beach, California were closed for swimming as there had been a massive spillage of sewage, on Thursday. The news release confirmed that untreated sewage had been discharged into the Dominguez Channel. This channel flows into the harbor at Los Angeles.

The beaches that were closed included the following:

Rancho Palos Verdes beach at Portuguese Bend
Cabrillo beach
Royal Palm beach
White Point beach
Wilder Addition Park Beach at Point Fermin.

The news release also mentioned that the spill occurred Thursday afternoon as a 48-inch sewage main line in Carson city failed. Roughly 8.5 million gallons of untreated sewage flowed into a storm drain that was close to it. It continued to flow into the Dominguez Channel, a waterway that ultimately empties into the LA Harbor, according to spokesperson of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD), Bryan Langpap.

Long Beach in Los Angeles County has roughly seven miles of beaches that are open to the public. Long Beach Health Department’s Water Quality inspection team is busy monitoring the quality of water in the areas that have been affected by the sewage spillage. The activity will continue until the water is restored to state water quality standards.

On Saturday, workers were finally able to stop the sewage spillage. They installed five bypass systems to arrest the overflow and protect the beaches.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn posted on Twitter that the magnitude of this spillage was “dangerous and unacceptable.” Hahn also said that although the recent storm was a contributing factor, the county and state needed to have infrastructure that would withstand heavy rainfall.

Although this has been a major spill, it has not been the only one in the state. In July 2021, approximately 17 million gallons of sewage had been discharged into the Santa Monica Bay, leading to a closure of beaches in LA. The spillage was from the Hyperion Water Reclamation plant.

In 2016, about 2.4 million gallons of untreated sewage had flowed into the Los Angeles River, leading to the closure of beaches in Long Beach as well as Seal Beach. However, Los Angeles saw the largest ever spill, in 1998. Over 30 million gallons of sewage spilled into the harbor during El Nino storms.

Tourists who had visited LA County to enjoy a change of scenery and the beaches were extremely disappointed that the beaches were closed.

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