LA beaches close after 17m gallons of untreated sewage discharged into bay

Health officials face anger over hours-long delay before notifying public of danger

Seventeen million gallons of untreated sewage were discharged into California’s Santa Monica Bay between Sunday evening and early Monday morning, spurring beach closures, as well as criticism of how health officials notified the public about potential safety risks.

The problems came to a head at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, located in the Playa del Rey area of Los Angeles, on Sunday evening. An “unusual amount of debris” – including construction waste and grease, among other refuse – entered the plant through its sewer lines, said Elena Stern, a senior public information director for the city’s department of public works.

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