UPDATE: City reopens beaches near Belmont Pier after 9,000-gallon sewage spill

Long Beach officials announced Tuesday that consecutive tests showed water near Belmont Pier to be within state water quality standards after a sewage spill Monday closed the area west of the pier.

The cause of the 9,000-gallon spill was a blocked sewage pipe, officials said.

PREVIOUS: Long Beach warns swimmers away from ocean after 9,000-gallon sewage spill

7/30/18, 3:06 p.m. | At least 9,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Los Angeles River over the weekend has prompted Long Beach to warn people to stay out of the ocean.

After learning of the spill, Long Beach health officials on Monday closed the water at all of its beaches and swimming areas west of the Belmont Pier, according to a bulletin from the city.

The spill happened in the city of Commerce around 1 p.m. Sunday, according to Nelson Kerr, the city’s environmental health bureau manager.

“There was a main sewage line up in the city of Commerce that was blocked by tree roots, and that caused the sewage to back up though a manhole cover in the middle of the street,” Kerr said.

Even though that happened 17 miles away from Long Beach, the sewage poured into a storm drain that eventually emptied into the Los Angles River, according to Kerr.

Kerr said 9,000 gallons is relatively small for a sewage spill, but health officials prefer to exercise caution with anything approaching 10,000 gallons, so authorities opted to close the broad swath of Long Beach shoreline.

The water could reopen as soon as tomorrow afternoon, but, Kerr cautioned, “That’s the best case.”

If testing finds evidence of contamination, the areas will stay closed until they meet state water-quality standards, he said.

To check on the water status, beachgoers can call 562-570-4199 or visit the Health Department’s website.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.