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Beaches In Long Beach, Closed After Sewage Spill, May Reopen On Saturday [Update: Beaches Now Open]

At Long Beach's Alamitos Bay, which is NOT closed. (Photo by OceanView90803 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Update [4:20 p.m.] All beaches in Long Beach are now reopen, according to a tweet from the Long Beach Health Department.


Beaches in Long Beach have been closed for five days and counting after a Boyle Heights sewer pipe ruptured on Monday, spilling 2.4 million gallons of raw sewage. As we'd reported on Tuesday, the sewage traveled 22 miles and reached the Long Beach terminus of the Los Angeles river.There may be some good news on the horizon, as officials say that the beaches might open up as early as Saturday, reports City News Service. On Wednesday, Long Beach health officials said that initial tests showed that the bacteria levels in the water were OK, but later tests showed an uptick in bacteria. Nelson Kerr, manager of Long Beach's Bureau of Environmental Health, told the L.A. Times that a round of testing on Thursday showed that the waters were still unsafe. According to Kerr, five of the nine test sample had elevated levels of bacteria. These fluctuations in test results may be caused by a change of ocean currents, or the flow of the L.A. River.

Officials will be testing the waters twice a day until the beaches are open.

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Of course, if you want to beat the heat you can visit other bodies of water. Recessed bodies of water like Alamitos Bay, Colorado Lagoon and Mother's Beach (all in Long Beach) are open. Though, as we'd noted in the past, these in-land bodies of water are a little icky due to a lack of circulation.

Seal Beach was also closed because of the spill, but reopened on Thursday after the Orange County Health Care Agency determined that bacteria levels were safe again.

We reached out to the City of Long Beach for comment but health officials were unavailable at the moment. To check if beaches are open, you can look up Heal The Bay's "Beach Report Card" site.

Beyond the obvious public health concerns, the spill—and ensuing beach closures—unfortunately coincide with the "heat dome" raising weekend temperatures across the Southland. Closed beaches and high heat! Talk about a raw deal.