Environment & Science

Beach waters remain closed amid sewage spill near Long Beach

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Long Beach and Seal Beach waters are still closed after 2.4 million gallons of raw sewage spewed into the ocean, leaving health officials to await the results of further water-quality testing and cleanup crews to deal with the spill's aftermath around LA city streets.

The first round of water tests Tuesday morning were conducted by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and showed only slight elevations of bacteria at two of 15 testing sites. Keith Allen, Long Beach's environmental health operations officer, said for now it does not look like Long Beach has been significantly impacted. 

“Typically with a sewage spill it would be a lot higher, but we did sample fairly early in the morning yesterday," Allen said. 

More samples were taken Wednesday morning, with Allen saying the results will be in mid-morning on Thursday. From there, health officials will determine whether beach waters will reopen.

Sewage began flowing into the ocean Monday night from a broken pipeline in downtown Los Angeles. Initially, workers halted the flow at 11 p.m. Monday, but it restarted around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. 

A post-spill cleanup operation started late Tuesday afternoon, as sanitation workers have taken pressure washers to the streets and sidewalks around 6th Street and Mission Road, according to a release from the LA Department of Public Works. 

The operation is still happening, with the boundaries being Mission Road on the west; Clarence Street on the east; 5th Street on the north and Jesse Street on the south, the release states.

The testing sites with bacteria levels slightly above normal after Tuesday's results were Granada Avenue and Prospect Avenue. 

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For updates about the beach waters in Long Beach, you can call the water hotline at (562)-570-4199. For updates on Seal Beach's water closure, visit Orange County Health Care Agency's ocean water map.

This story has been updated.