LONG BEACH – City health officials ordered the closure of Mother's Beach and Marine Stadium Friday following a raw-sewage spill near the Cerritos Channel. A Los Angeles County Sanitation District pump burst at about 12:10 p.m., and crew members were able to turn it off at 1:02 p.m., district spokesman Don Avila said. Officials estimate that between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons may have escaped into the channel.
Avila added that crews had vacuumed the area, which is northwest of the Marina Pacifica Mall at Pacific Coast Highway and Second Street.
City health officials promptly launched a series of water testing procedures – and they expect to continue them throughout the weekend – to pinpoint when the closed sites can be used safely by the public, said Nelson Kerr, manager of the Health Department's recreation water program.
The testing procedures involve the collection of shoreline water samples, followed by water-quality lab tests, in the search for bacteriological contamination, Kerr said.
"We want at least two clean samples," he added.
Officials are not sure what caused the break in the 10-inch diameter water line, but it had been spotted by electrical workers nearby, Avila said.
Kerr said there's a possibility that a catch basin at the north side of the mall's parking lot may have blocked the sewage from entering the channel waters.
For details on Long Beach water quality, call the Health Department's water-quality information line at (562) 570-4199, or visit its Web site at www.longbeach.gov/health.
Joe Segura can be reached at email@example.com or (562) 499-1274.