Swimming in feces: Beaches in LA and Orange counties closed due to huge sewage spill
01/04/2022 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Several beaches in the Los Angeles and Orange counties in California were closed due to sewage spills off the Dominguez Channel. County officials said the spillage of about two to four million gallons of untreated waste into the channel was caused by the failure of a main sewer line in the city of Carson.

According to the L.A. Times, the beaches closed to swimmers include Cabrillo, Point Fermin, White Point, Rancho Palos Verdes and Royal Palms. They will remain closed until bacteria testing shows the water to be safe for swimming again. Aside from the aforementioned, city officials said all swimming beaches in Long Beach and the Main Beach at Seal Beach are also off-limits to visitors.

A Dec. 31, 2021 press release by the city of Long Beach confirmed the closure, adding that the city health department’s water quality inspection team is “monitoring water quality along the affected beach sites.” Quoting a Dec. 30 report by the California Office of Emergency Services, the release noted that the spill originated in Carson after a 48-inch main sewer line failed.

“Long Beach has approximately seven miles of public beach. To protect the safety of the public, weekly water samples are collected and tested routinely to monitor bacterial levels. Water monitoring will continue until results comply with state water quality standards.”

The press release added: “State law requires temporary closure and posting at beaches in these situations out of an abundance of caution. For their safety, the community is encouraged to pay close attention to any warning signs posted at the beach.”


Patrons who frequent the beaches for the holidays lamented the closures – including Sandi Williams and her son Steve. She expressed her disappointment to the L.A. Times.

“You come all this way and you don’t get to play in the sand or the ocean? That doesn’t seem fair. We were so looking forward to this change in scenery – but like everywhere, there’s catastrophe,” the mother hailing from Massachusetts said.

Her son Steve, who originally planned to take an early morning swim on Jan. 1, shared her sentiment. “Now I can stay up late and do the countdown, [but] I would rather be in the water and take a picture of that,” he said. (Related: California’s environmental policies have left children swimming in sewage.)

CA beach closures due to sewage spills not uncommon

The closure of California beaches due to sewage spills is not uncommon.

Back in July 2021, a four-mile stretch of beaches in the state closed following the emergency discharge of untreated sewage into the Santa Monica Bay. The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, L.A.’s largest and oldest water treatment facility, unloaded 17 million gallons of sewage on July 11, 2021 as an “emergency measure.”

Timeyin Dafeta, the facility’s executive plant manager, said in a July 12 statement that the Hyperion plant became inundated with “overwhelming quantities of debris” the day before. “The plant’s relief system was triggered and sewage flows were controlled through use of the plant’s one-mile outfall and discharge of untreated sewage into Santa Monica Bay,” he added.

Dafeta nevertheless assured that the issue would be resolved by July 12. He pointed out: “At this time, all [sewage] flow is being treated through standard treatment processes.” (Related: LA treatment plant discharges 17 MILLION gallons of sewage.)

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn confirmed the sewage spill and added that water samples were being tested. She also announced the indefinite closure of about four miles of beaches in the county. “Beaches from El Segundo to the Dockweiler RV Park are closed for swimming,” Hahn tweeted.

The county supervisor subsequently tweeted: “This was a massive discharge of 17 million gallons of sewage into the ocean. I understand that the plant was able to prevent an even larger spill, but we are going to need answers about how and why this happened.”

L.A.’s sewage problem is not only limited to its beaches. Here is InfoWars founder Alex Jones commenting on an interview between Fox News host Tucker Carlson and L.A. resident Karen Hix about the city’s sewage issue.

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