Sewage spill closes south Los Angeles County beaches

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Beaches along the south Los Angeles County and Orange County coast were closed Friday due to a spill of untreated sewage, authorities said.

A sewer main line failed Thursday afternoon in the city of Carson and 6 million to 7 million gallons (22.7—26.5 million liters) of sewage was discharged into the Dominguez Channel, a waterway that empties into Los Angeles Harbor, LA County authorities said.

The Long Beach city health officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, ordered a temporary closure of all swimming areas of the city’s approximately 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) of beaches.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health closed Cabrillo, Point Fermin, White Point Park, Royal Palm and Rancho Palos Verdes beaches. Seal Beach was among areas closed in neighboring Orange County.

The 70th annual Polar Bear Swim that usually draws hundreds of people to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro for a New Year’s Day plunge was canceled.

Authorities said the beaches would remain closed until testing of water samples shows bacteria levels are within state standards.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn called for an investigation by the county Sanitation District to determine whether the spill was caused by “aging or faulty infrastructure.”

“A sewage spill of this magnitude is dangerous and unacceptable, and we need to understand what happened,” she said in a statement.

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