LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Long Beach is hoping an ambitious new project will make the water along its beaches a whole lot cleaner.
KCAL9’s Peter Daut reported from Long Beach on Colorado Lagoon, a beach closed due to a sewage spill.
His report examines the plan, including who is going to foot the bill.
Families hoping to go for a swim Wednesday were greeted with a sign that said the beach was closed.
“It’s kind of disappointing that there’s a lot of dirty water right here,” said beachgoer Jissela Vasconez.
She said she and her kids got into the water before realizing the beach, like nearby Mother’s Beach, had been shut down.
A broken sewage line dumped 700 gallons of waste into the area.
“I feel kind of dirty right now,” she said, with a laugh.
City officials say the water off Long Beach will soon be a lot cleaner thanks to a new partnership with CalTrans.
The agency plans to spend $28 million on a new stormwater treatment and recycling plant just south of the Shoemaker Bridge, which would clean runoff before it enters the ocean. In return, CalTrans would get credits toward national anti-pollution requirements.
“It’s a win-win situation,” says Roberto Uranga, Long Beach councilman.
He says the project would treat roughly 40 percent of all dry-weather runoff, including harmful bacteria and pollutants. And he says the recycled water would be used to irrigate parks.
“It all ends up here in Long Beach, so it’s a great opportunity for us to capture that water,” Uranga said.
Families who visit the beaches say the project is a step in the right direction, helping them to be able to actually step into the water.
“Anything cleaner, it’s better for our kids,” says beachgoer Eric Copeland.
It’s unclear when the closed beaches will reopen. Meanwhile, officials said the project is expected to be completed in about three years.