An expanded beach closure in the Long Beach's Alamitos Bay that remained in effect Wednesday following a weekend sewage spill will likely keep the beaches shut down for at least two more days.
A private sump pump that serves a residential community near the Cerritos Channel failed on Sunday, spilling sewage that flowed in Alamitos Bay, city public health officials said.
Initially, the spill only prompted the closure of Mother's Beach. But on Tuesday, Long Beach health officials said bacteriological test results had induced the city to close all other recreational beaches in Alamitos Bay.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the beaches will remain closed to water contact until testing confirms that the results are within state standards," Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner said in a press release Tuesday.
Water-quality test results on Wednesday morning showed continued "moderate to heavy" exceedance of state standards for bacterial limits, according to Nelson Kerr, head of the environmental health bureau in the city's health department.
Kerr said the city wants to see two clean samples in a row at each of its four sampling locations in the bay. Samples are taken once per day and results are available the next day, so the earliest the beaches could reopen would be Friday.
It's uncertain how much sewage has entered the bay, Kerr said.
Ocean-facing beaches in Long Beach have remained open to the public.
The city said it is working "aggressively" to identify factors that contributed to the spill, and is considering enforcement actions against the private property owner.
Two locations at Alamitos Bay – the Second Street Bridge at Bayshore, and 56th Place – recently received "C" grades on an environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay's annual report card for summer water quality.