Seven miles of public beaches in Long Beach are being monitored after 250,000 gallons of sewage spilled on April 20 when a blockage in Downey created an overflow in a sewer main line.
Since the water in Long Beach connects to the Los Angeles River, pollution from the river can affect the coastal biome, and the beaches are being tested for water quality.
Water samples are collected and tested weekly to monitor bacterial levels by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services. Currently four miles of beach, from 5th Place to 72nd Place as well as the west side of Belmont Pier, are closed due to the “significant risk to health,” according to the Bureau of Environmental Health.
Signs are also posted along the closed beaches to let beach goers know not to swim in the ocean to protect themselves from the increase of bacteria levels in the water along with the updates on the City of Long Beach’s website.
Sewage spills are not uncommon in the Long Beach area.
The Los Angeles River was previously contaminated by approximately 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of sewage in March 2022 due to a grease clogged sewer line.
Long Beach beaches were closed temporarily again after two to four million gallons of sewage entered the Dominguez Channel, the channel which enters into the Los Angeles Harbor.
For immediate updates on the beaches and bays, people can call the Water Hotline at (562) 570-4199 and can also visit longbeach.gov.