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17 million-gallon sewage spill closes miles of beaches in California

About 4 miles of beaches from El Segundo to the southern end of Playa del Rey were closed indefinitely while officials tested the water.
/ Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Several Los Angeles-area beaches were closed Monday to swimmers and surfers after 17 million gallons of sewage spilled into Santa Monica Bay from a treatment plant.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said on Twitter that an unspecified mechanical failure caused the spill Sunday at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant.

About four miles of beaches from El Segundo to the southern end of Playa del Rey were closed indefinitely while officials conducted tests on the water.

Hyperion Executive Plant Manager Timeyin Dafeta said in a statement that the facility “became inundated with overwhelming quantities of debris, causing backup of the headworks facilities.”

Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Los Angeles on April 22, 2019.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

“The plant’s relief system was triggered and sewage flows were controlled through use of the plant’s one-mile outfall and discharge of untreated sewage into Santa Monica Bay,” Dafeta said.

About 6 percent of the facility’s daily load was discharged as an emergency measure to prevent the plant from going offline and spewing even more raw sewage, the statement said.