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Major sewage spill in Orange County, Calif., closes several beaches

Tribune News Service logo Tribune News Service 6 days ago By Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times
a view of a city at sunset: The sun sets over the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages in Newport Beach, Calif., in an August 2016 file image. A spill of about 4 million gallons of raw sewage prompted the Orange County Health Care Agency to close ocean and bay water areas from Crystal Cove State Park to Poche Beach at the Dana Point-San Clemente border. © Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS The sun sets over the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages in Newport Beach, Calif., in an August 2016 file image. A spill of about 4 million gallons of raw sewage prompted the Orange County Health Care Agency to close ocean and bay water areas from Crystal Cove State Park to Poche Beach at the Dana Point-San Clemente border.

LOS ANGELES — A spill of about 4 million gallons of raw sewage prompted the Orange County Health Care Agency to close ocean and bay water areas from Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach to Poche Beach at the Dana Point and San Clemente border, health officials said.

The spill was caused by a broken force main at the Ben Brown Golf Course in Laguna Beach, first reported at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said.

In a statement, Nichole Quick, an Orange County health officer, emphasized that exposure to untreated sewage “can be harmful and result in very serious illness with potentially severe effects.”

Health officials said the affected areas will remain closed until water quality meets state standards.

In Los Angeles County, authorities warned against swimming at local beaches because contaminants in runoff from recent rainfall could cause bacteria levels in ocean waters to increase. The county Department of Public Health said bacteria levels could remain elevated for up to three days, depending on the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff.

Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water may cause illness, officials said, especially in children and the elderly. The advisory for L.A. County beaches will be in effect until at least 7:30 a.m. Monday, but could be extended with more rainfall.

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