Massive Raw Sewage Contamination Prompts Beach Closures in L.A. County

Wednesday leak near Admiralty Way and Palawan Way cause of closures

A massive 24,000-gallon raw sewage leak shut down several Venice and Marina del Rey beaches on Wednesday, contaminating nearby wet sand as well, according to L.A. County Public Health officials.

The spill was initially reported to be 64,000 gallons, but officials revised this number Wednesday night. 

“The cause of the sewage discharge was a blocked main line which resulted in sewage entering the storm drain system at the corner of Admiralty Way and Palawan Way,” officials explain.

Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey, Venice City Beach, ½ Mile North of Marina entrance and Dockweiler State Beach, ½ Mile South of Ballona Creek continue to remain closed. 

Health officials said the closures will remain in place until daily water sampling shows bacterial levels within health standards. Approximately 3,000 gallons were contained on site by a Los Angeles County Public Works sewer maintenance crew, while the remaining discharge is believed to have reached storm drains leading to the ocean.

“It’s disheartening to see a sewage spill like this at Mother’s Beach, which has a long and poor track record when it comes to water quality. This spill was caused by a clog in the sewer line that lies close to the beach. The public needs know that only human waste and toilet paper should go down the toilet. The incident also highlights the need for local agencies to stay on top of sewage infrastructure inspections,” said Luke Ginger, Water Quality Specialist at Heal the Bay.  “The elevated health risk caused by this sewage spill will subside over time, but we don’t want Mother’s Beach visitors to become complacent. This beach has been among the most polluted in California for the last 30 years. We urge everyone to check the Beach Report Card for the latest water quality conditions at Mother’s Beach before heading out.” 

Corral Creek at Corral Beach, Topanga Canyon Beach in Malibu, Santa Monica Canyon Creek at Will Rogers State Beach, Inner Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro and Rose Avenue Storm Drain at Venice Beach have all been issued warnings due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards when last tested.

The warnings have been lifted for Pico-Kenter Storm Drain at Santa Monica Beach after recent sample results identified water quality levels within State standards.

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