14,000 gallons of raw sewage spill onto L.A. County beaches, forcing closure

PLAYA DEL REY, CA -- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020: A Los Angeles County lifeguard patrols the closed Playa Del Rey Beach amid coronavirus pandemic social distancing regulations in Playa Del Rey, CA, on April 15, 2020. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Playa Del Rey Beach is seen in April 2020.. A 14,400-gallon sewage spill from Ballona Creek forced Los Angeles County public health officials to close surrounding beaches. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Roughly 14,400 gallons of untreated sewage forced Los Angeles County public health officials to warn people to stay out of the water at Dockweiler State Beach, Venice Beach and the surrounding area.

It's unclear when the closure will be lifted, but people should stay clear of the water and the wet sand from Ballona Creek to one mile north of Venice Beach and one mile south of Dockweiler, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department said in a news release Thursday.

The raw sewage discharge began sometime Wednesday and ended around noon Thursday, officials said. There was no information about how sewage made its way into the ocean.

Health officials will begin testing the water Friday, and the closure will remain in effect until two tests indicate bacteria levels meet safe health standards, according to the advisory.

Information on beach conditions are available on the county's beach closure hotline at (800) 525-5662. A map of closed locations and more information can be found at PublicHealth.LACounty.gov/Beach/.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.