A few days before New Year 2022, a disaster strikes Southern California beaches. This is after a massive sewage spill led to the closure of several Southern California beaches.
In July 2021, 17 million gallons of sewage were discharged into the Santa Monica Bay leading to the closure of Los Angeles beaches. This was due to problems at the Los Angeles wastewater treatment plant.
Massive Sewer Spill Closes Southern California Beaches
The multi-million-gallon sewage spill began on Friday, December 30th, 2021. This is after a sewer main failed, sending 6 to 8 million gallons of sewer into the Dominguez Channel. The Dominguez Channel, a 15.7 mile stretch of river, flows to the Los Angeles harbor.
Earlier estimates by Los Angeles County officials had the sewer spill amount at between 1 million to 3 million gallons. According to Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor, “A spill of this magnitude is unacceptable and dangerous… The recent storm contributed to the spill, but we need infrastructure that will not fail when it rains.”
The sewer made its way to the Dominguez channel leading to the closure of seven beaches. They are inner Cabrillo Beach, Portuguese Bend at Ranco Palos Verdes, White Point-Royal Palms Beach, Sunset, and Seal beaches.
All swimming areas in Orange County and Long Beach were also closed. This was after LA health officials detected bacterial levels exceeding health standards.
County Health officials placed closure signs at all beaches affected by the sewer spill. Residents were also cautioned to completely avoid any contact with the water that may come into contact with the sewer.
Los Angeles County Sanitation District Officials Stem Sewer Flow
By Saturday, December 31st, 2021, LA Sanitation District crews installed bypass pipes to stem the flow of waste into the channel. It’s expected that the officials will make a temporary fix on the 60-year-old line. This is after it deteriorated due to the build-up of sulfuric acid and spilled gallons of sewer into the ocean. Meanwhile, the officials are working on a sewer line expected to be completed within 6 to 12 months.
In a statement by the LA Sanitation officials, “We’ll be working with other officials in the coming days to monitor water quality and determine if it’s safe to reopen the beaches. Our top priority is the safety and health of the impacted communities.”