On July 18, a massive sewage spill resulted in about 1.75 million gallons of waste being spilled in Los Angeles River which further transported the sewage to Southern California coastal waters.
The spill occurred around 2:00 p.m. after an old sewer in Los Angeles collapsed. The flow which inundated the nearby streets was stopped Tuesday. Reportedly, the city has so far invested $2 billion in sewer maintenance projects over the last decade.
Long Beach coast had to be closed until Saturday, but it was reopened this Friday. Authorities said that bacterial levels in waters are now safe for swimmers. About 750,000 gallons from the spill were contained while 1.75 million gallons reached the river.
Officials said that it was the most significant spill in Long Beach in the last decade.
However, only coastal beaches were closed. Alamitos Bay and Mother’s beach were left open although authorities kept testing their waters. Public health authorities pledged earlier this week to test coastal water twice a day to see if there is any improvement.
Environmental Health Manager Nelson Kerr of the Long Beach’s health department said Tuesday that the beaches should be reopened Saturday. Over the last few days, lab tests showed that bacteria levels along the beaches had hazardous levels.
Seal Beach coastline was closed for three days until Thursday. The beaches were reopened as soon as authorities found that bacterial levels are within safe limits.
L.A. authorities explained that there was a rupture at an old pipe that was slated for repairs. Adel Hagekhalil of the City Sanitation noted that the incident is isolated as the municipality has a good record on its sewers. Before the spill, there was no similar incident along the city’s 6,700 mile-long line of sewers.
On Friday afternoon, Long Beach swimmers were allowed to enter the water. Authorities said that two separate tests revealed the bacteria pose no longer a risk to human health. The closure had targeted only coastal waters, not the beaches themselves.
Los Angeles declined to comment on the costs of the spill or on who is going to pay for the hazard. Authorities said that they were collaborating with the city attorney to recover the costs from relevant authorities.
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