Major sewage leak: 2.4 million gallons of waste spills into Los Angeles River

Major sewage leak: 2.4 million gallons of waste spills into Los Angeles River

On Thursday, the beaches in Long Beach were shut due to a huge sewage leak previously this week, spilling 2.4 million gallons of waste within the Los Angeles River.

Nelson Kerr, manager of Long Beach’s Bureau of Environmental Health, said that five of nine test samples demonstrated increased bacteria levels on Thursday.

He said that the starting samples were clean, without any signs of sewage, but alterations in flow from the L.A. River and ocean currents may have led the sewage to the beaches.

The beaches can possibly reopen by Saturday. He said that health officials will keep on testing the waters two times a day till the time they find clean samples. The beaches Alamitos Bay, Colorado Lagoon and Mother’s Beach are open.

On Thursday, health officials reopened a stretch of coastline in Seal Beach that was closed following the spill.

On Monday, every coastal beach was closed after an aging 5-foot sewer pipe, constructed in 1929, ruptured nearly 2 p.m. at 6th Street and Mission Road in Boyle Heights.

Paul Gomez, spokesman for the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works, said that debris blocked the line, leading to the overflow of sewage.

On Tuesday, crews finally managed to stop the spill nearly 1:50 pm, about 24 hours following the rupture, and installed provisional pumping systems to decrease the flow to the level best. Later, a permanent sewer bypass was installed. Around 2.4 million gallons was spilled, wherein just 750,000 gallons were captured.

Following the spill, crews cleaned and sanitized the streets, storm drains, sidewalks, and channels leading into the L.A. River. Officials have no idea about the cause of the failed pipe so far.

According to Long Beach officials, Monday’s leak was the biggest sewage spill in the past decade to impact the beaches citywide.