Long Beach coastal beaches open again after sewage spill, rains

Long Beach coastal beaches are now within California water quality standards after a sewage spill and rainstorm in late December made the water unsanitary for weeks.

Long Beach Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis lifted the closure order Monday for the coastal beaches, where consecutive lab tests showed the water quality was within state standards, but Colorado Lagoon West will remain closed until further notice, officials said.

A control system failure at the city water reclamation plant, operated by LA County, caused an overflow of approximately 50,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean on Dec. 26, officials said. A heavy rainstorm over the following days then washed bacteria, chemicals and debris into local waterways.

“To protect the safety of the public, weekly water samples are collected and tested routinely to monitor bacterial levels,” officials said. “For their safety, the community is encouraged to pay close attention to any warning signs posted at the beach.”

Beaches are open daily from sunrise to sunset for swimming, kayaking, walking and similar activities, but officials still note that gatherings of any size are still not allowed due to COVID-19 health orders.

Check for the latest water quality status here or at 562-570-4199.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.