Southern California beaches soiled by a sewage spill will remain closed until testing of water samples shows bacteria levels are within state standards, officials said.
A sewer main line failed Thursday in the city of Carson and up to 8.5 million gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the Dominguez Channel, a waterway that empties into Los Angeles Harbor.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health closed Cabrillo, Point Fermin, White Point Park, Royal Palm and Rancho Palos Verdes beaches. Seal Beach was among areas closed in neighboring Orange County.
In Long Beach, health officer Dr. Anissa Davis ordered a temporary closure of all swimming areas of the city’s approximately 7 miles of beaches.
The 70th annual Polar Bear Swim that usually draws hundreds of people to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro for a New Year’s Day plunge was canceled.
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn called for an investigation by the county Sanitation District to determine whether the spill was caused by “aging or faulty infrastructure.”
“A sewage spill of this magnitude is dangerous and unacceptable, and we need to understand what happened,” she said in a statement.