Beaches in Los Angeles and Long Beach were temporarily closed Friday after up to 4 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Dominguez Channel, officials said.
A 48-inch sewer main line failed Thursday afternoon, dumping untreated waste into the Dominguez Channel, which empties into Los Angeles Harbor at the Port of Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach said in a statement. Long Beach closed all city beaches on Friday.
Beaches in Los Angeles, including Rancho Palos Verdes Beach at Portuguese Bend, Royal Palm Beach, White Point Beach, Wilder Addition Park Beach at Point Fermin and Cabrillo Beach, were also closed following the spill, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.
Long Beach’s water quality inspection team is currently monitoring water quality at the affected sites, officials said. “For their safety, the community is encouraged to pay close attention to any warning signs posted at the beach,” officials said in the statement.
Some beaches in Orange County were also closed Friday following the spill, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“You come all this way and you don’t get to play in the sand or the ocean? That doesn’t seem fair,” Sandi Williams, who traveled to Southern California from suburban Massachusetts for the holidays, told the Times. “We were so looking forward to this change in scenery, but like everywhere, there’s catastrophe.”
This is the second major Southern California sewage spill in six months. Four miles of beaches were temporarily closed in July when 17 million gallons of sewage spilled into Santa Monica Bay after a mechanical failure at a nearby sewage treatment facility.
After the facility “became inundated with overwhelming quantities of debris,” the plant’s relief system discharged 6% of its daily load to prevent the spewing of even more raw sewage, officials said at the time.
The largest spill in Los Angeles history occurred in 1998, when more than 30 million gallons of sewage spilled out during El Niño storms.
Another notable sewage spill occurred in 2016 when a damaged line spilled about 2.4 million gallons of untreated waste into the Los Angeles River and forced the closure of all beaches in Long Beach and Seal Beach.