MALIBU—The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health closed down Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Thursday, June 8 due to the spill of an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of untreated sewage. The beach has yet to reopen to the public.
Officials advise residents and visitors to stay away from ocean water and wet sand in the closed-off areas to avoid the risk of becoming ill. The closures also span a quarter mile North and South of the main beach area.
According to reporting by CBS, a damaged wastewater line that leaked into a storm drain located at the corner of Malibu Canyon Road and Potter Road was the source of the sewage. The wastewater line has since been stopped, and clean-up efforts are underway.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requires two days of tests that show bacterial levels up to health standards before the area can reopen.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach is not the first beach within Los Angeles County to close due to a sewage spill in 2023.
Two days earlier, on June 6, a sewage spill closed beaches and swimming areas in Long Beach.
According to a press release posted by officials, approximately 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Alhambra Wash which leads to the Rio Hondo Channel flowing into the Los Angeles River. A report by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health indicated that the spill occurred due to a sewer line blockage. All beaches and swimming areas in Long Beach have since opened back up.
This was the second sewage spill affecting swimming regions in Long Beach this year. The first was caused by malfunctioning sanitation equipment that created a temporary sewer line blockage in Downey. Due to the incident, 250,000 gallons of sewage were released into the ocean on April 20.
Earlier this year, a sewage spill on January 25 closed Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey, Venice City Beach, and Dockweiler State Beach. An estimated 24,000 gallons of sewage were released into the ocean due to a blocked sewer line.
To view a map of closures and view beach safety updates, visit the Los Angeles County of Public Health’s website or call Los Angeles County’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-525-5662.
By Paige Strickland