Long Beach Gears Up to Fight Upstream Sewage Spills That Pollute Its Coastline

Long Beach had to close its coastline for 63 days over the last five years because of upstream sewage spills, but city staff told council members Tuesday that the total amount of economic or environmental damage caused by the recurring spills is hard to estimate.

Beach closures caused by raw sewage are a perennial problem in Long Beach because the city is downstream from much of Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers carry debris and pollutants into the ocean, which can make bacteria levels in Long Beach’s water unsafe for use.