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California Briefing / Long Beach

Sewage spill closes beaches

July 28, 2009|Mitchell Landsberg

A sewage spill forced the closure of several beaches in Long Beach on Monday, but city officials said they didn't expect the problem to last more than one or two days.

The spill occurred Sunday when two pumps failed in the Bixby Terrace neighborhood, sending about 1,000 gallons of sewage into Los Cerritos Channel, according to Dr. Fred Herman, the city's public health physician. The source was capped sometime overnight, but not before sewage was on its way into Los Alamitos Bay.

Until test results show that water quality has returned to safe levels, the city Department of Health and Human Services has put up signs warning people to stay out of the water at Mother's Beach, Marine Stadium and Colorado Lagoon, Herman said.

Long Beach has a history of frequent sewage discharges into the ocean, generally caused by spills in upstream cities that flow into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. Herman said Sunday's spill was unusual because it originated in Long Beach. He said the pumps that failed were maintained by a private neighborhood association.

-- Mitchell Landsberg

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