1.5M-Gallon Sewage Spill Closes LA Area Beaches

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
July 19, 2016 Updated: May 4, 2018

LONG BEACH—At least 1.5 million gallons of sewage spewed from a burst pipe near downtown Los Angeles, leading to the closure of ocean waters and beaches downriver in Long Beach, officials said Tuesday.

The top of a sewer pipe collapsed Monday afternoon, sending debris into it and forcing it to overflow and spill. It sent a stinky sludge onto local streets and into the Los Angeles River. 

The spill was stopped around 11 p.m., and cleanup efforts continued through the night.

Officials don’t know what caused the break, or how much tainted river water, if any, made it all the way to Long Beach, but the water is off limits and will remain closed until testing shows it’s safe.

Nelson Kerr with the Long Beach city health department says officials tested ocean water Tuesday at the mouth of the Los Angeles River, about 20 miles south of the spill site. Results are expected Wednesday, and Kerr said beaches will likely be closed through at least Thursday.

Officials had originally estimated that about 100,000 gallons had spilled in the mostly industrial area near Boyle Heights.