LA River spouts sewage in Long Beach, causes beach closures

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AP Photo/Ric Francis

This Jan.21,2007 file photo shows a bicyclist riding along a path running along the cement-lined Los Angeles River in Los Angeles. A federal court says Los Angeles County's flood control district has been polluting the LA and San Gabriel rivers with stormwater runoff.

Sewage spilled into the L.A. River means beach closures now in Long Beach.

Inland cities report it themselves when their sewage systems fail, and a failure happened in Studio City on Sunday night for nearly four hours. Long Beach health officials say the only place for the sewage to go is 39 miles down the river and out into the Pacific near their city’s beaches.

Long Beach’s health officer says the beaches will stay closed until water testing yields a better bill of health. In addition to the sewage spill, Long Beach is contending with stormwater runoff. A health advisory is in effect for beaches, bays and anyplace else people might go swimming after the rain.

Stormwater carries with it whatever is on the streets, including bacteria, trash and oil. That pollution comes every time there’s a significant rainstorm.

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