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11,000-gallon sewage spill prompts closures along Long Beach coast

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 1/14/2020 By Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times

Seven miles of shoreline in Long Beach have been closed after roughly 11,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the San Gabriel River, flowing south to the city's beaches, authorities said.

The massive spill, which occurred Sunday in the city of Hawaiian Gardens and was caused by a grease blockage in a main sewage line, according to a Los Angeles County report, prompted the closure of all swimming areas along the Long Beach coast.

Anissa Davis, Long Beach's city health officer, ordered the closure Monday, saying the area would remain off-limits until the water quality improved.

Environmental health operations officer Judeth Luong said the city's health department was awaiting results of a second water sample. The beaches won't reopen until Wednesday at the earliest, she said, and then only if the water quality no longer includes excessive bacteria levels.

In August, Huntington Harbour closed for a day after nearly 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the area. The spill had a similar cause, a blockage in a main sewer line, likely caused by tree branches or roots.

Water samples are collected and tested weekly in Long Beach. The public is asked to pay attention to warning signs posted at the beach, as has been the case during this week's closure.

For further updates, visitors can call the water hotline at (562) 570-4199.

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