"Water contact may cause someone to become ill," the department warned.
According to LA County officials, 24,000 gallons of untreated sewage leaked into three of the city's beaches Wednesday. The Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health (LACDPH) downgraded the size of the spill after three beaches were shut down on Wednesday; it's unclear when they will re-open. "Water contact may cause someone to become ill," the department warned.
"Heal the Bay scientists also recommend avoiding recreational activities requiring contact with waters in neighboring Marina del Rey watersheds," said the group in a press release.
A blocked main line led to sewage entering the storm drain system near Admiralty and Palawan Ways in Marina del Rey, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a Wednesday news release.
The County Public works department said that the pipes have been repaired and the streets cleaned. But LACDPH shut down three local beaches until further notice: Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey, Venice City Beach, and Dockweiler State Beach. LACDPH warns the public to avoid swimming in the ocean or touching wet sand at those three beaches.
Officials did not say when the beaches would re-open to the public. The water will be tested daily until bacterial levels meet health standards, the department said. LACDPH said in an email that results from the first and second sets of ocean water samples will be available on Friday and Saturday.
"If either set of samples shows high bacteria levels, a third set of samples will be collected on Saturday. Sampling will continue until two consecutive samples meet water quality standards," LACDPH said.
Policy and action group Environment California tweeted about the leak prior to the announcement of the downgraded sewage spill estimate, writing, "We are disheartened by yesterday's 64,000-gallon sewage spill that's affecting beaches in Los Angeles County. Spills like this place both public health and marine life at risk. We must do a better job of stopping these preventable disasters from harming our environment."