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Sewage Spill Sends 1.5 Million Gallons Of Untreated Waste Water Down The L.A. River

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Update [11:30 a.m.]: Los Angeles Department of Public Works officials are now estimating that 2.4 million gallons of raw sewage have spilled from the broken pipe, according to City News Service. ABC 7 reports that the pipe re-ruptured, and that the leak is "ongoing."

More than 1.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Los Angeles River after a 60-inch sewer pipe collapsed in Boyle Heights on Monday, sparking the closure of all beaches in Long Beach. The L.A. Times reports that crews worked overnight to stop the spill, which the paper described as "fast-growing." The sewage in question, which travelled 22 miles from Boyle Heights to the Long Beach terminus of the river, is composed of untreated waste water, according to Department of Public Works spokesperson Tonya Durrell.

It all started at 2 p.m. yesterday, when the top of a sewer pipe located just east of downtown at 6th Street and Mission Road collapsed, according to a press release from the Department of Public Works. The collapse sent debris into the sewer into the sewer pipe which then clogged it, causing an overflow of sewage. Wastewater crews from the Department of Sanitation arrived soon after to try and contain the spill, along with emergency sewer contractors from the Bureau of Engineering, who worked to bypass the damaged sewer.

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KPCC reports that Long Beach officials first learned of the spill yesterday in the late afternoon, and the decision to close all Long Beach beaches was ordered by the city's acting health officer, Dr. Mauro Torno. Health officials are currently testing the water there, and beaches will be reopened tests indicate the the water is safe for swimming.

We called the Department of Public Health to find out more about possible public health implications for Angelenos, especially those who live in close proximity to the river, but no one could talk—they were all in a meeting about said sewage spill.