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Los Angeles County has announced the closure of several beaches in the most populous county of the US, after it was reported that as much as 4 million gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the Pacific.

The Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health on Friday listed five beaches that were forced to be closed for “known sewage or chemical spill.”

“Water contact may cause someone to become ill. When a beach is closed, the Department of Public Health advises beach users to avoid all contact with ocean water in the closure area and where closure signs are posted.” the authority said in a statement.

These beaches will remain closed until bacteria testing shows the water is at safe levels, Xinhua news agency reported.

Long Beach, a city in Los Angeles with an independent healthcare administration, also announced the closure of all beaches in the city on Friday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the spill of nearly 2 million to 4 million gallons of waste was caused by the failure of a 48-inch sewer main in Carson in Los Angeles County on Thursday. The channel runs into Los Angeles Harbor.