SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — On Saturday, the Orange County Health Care Agency expanded its beach closures after millions of gallons of sewage spilled into the Dominguez Channel in Carson two days prior.
The OCHCA order now bars swimming, surfing and diving at Seal Beach’s Surfside Beach and Huntington Beach’s Sunset Beach. Officials have also closed these six other beaches throughout Los Angeles And Orange County:
- Cabrillo Beach
- Point Fermin Beach
- Royal Palms State Beach
- Rancho Palos Verdes Beach
- Seal Beach
- White Point Park Beach
These beaches will remain closed until bacteria levels are within state safety standards. Los Angeles County Public Health and the Los Angeles Sanitation District will collect water quality samples.
The spill occurred after a sewer collapsed near the I-110 freeway on Thursday. It was initially reported that 2 to 4 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into the Dominguez Channel, Thursday. However, on Friday, when the majority of beaches were first closed officials reported that the spill may have reached highs of 6 to 7 million gallons of sewage. And now, on Saturday, Orange County officials reported another increase, believing the sewage spill to reach about 8.5 million gallons.
“A sewage spill of this magnitude is dangerous and unacceptable and we need to understand what happened,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
She continued to say that the storm “undoubtedly contributed to the spill” and called for an improved infrastructure which “doesn’t fail when it rains.”READ MORE: Torrance Police Seek Public's Help In Shooting Death Of A Woman
“I am calling on L.A. County Sanitation District to do a full investigation into the cause of the spill and whether aging or faulty infrastructure was involved,” she concluded.
There is no official timeline on how long it will take to clean the sewage spill.
“We really have to investigate further,” said Bryan Langpap, spokesperson for Los Angeles County Sanitation District. “This is an older sewer. It was installed in the 1960’s. We have a program to monitor the condition of the sewers in our system. This is something that we knew was nearing the end of its life.”
While officials further investigate into the situation, residents have been left to deal with the lingering smell.
“I thought it was rainwater so I drove over it and pulled into my driveway and you smelled it right away,” said resident Cesar Casillas. “And I got out when I seen it it was feces and toilet paper.”MORE NEWS: NFL, LA County Go On Public Education Blitz To Block COVID From Super Bowl Festivities
Individuals in the area have dealt with a lingering, putrid smell once this year in October.