Sewage spill closes South CA beaches

Blocked pipe releases sewage causing two S. California beaches to close

LAS ANGELES | January 18, 2012

A spill from a blocked pipe that released thousands of gallons of sewage closed a stretch of beach in two Southern California communities, authorities said.

Health officials closed a quarter-mile stretch of beach spanning Venice and Playa del Rey Tuesday and warned swimmers and surfers to stay out of ocean water, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said the beach closure was a precaution as the spill was contained and there were no signs of sewage making its way to the ocean from a city park in Inglewood where the blocked pipe caused sewage to bubble out of a manhole.

Ballona Creek, which flows by the park, enters the ocean between Venice and Playa del Rey.

Workers stopped the spill, caused by grease buildup in a 12-inch pipeline, with sandbags and used pumps to keep about 11,200 gallons of effluent from emptying into the storm drain system that connects to the creek, the Times said.

"It appears that nothing got downstream and into the ocean," Inglewood Deputy City Manager Darryl Brown said. "We contained and pumped the vast majority, if not all of it."

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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