On Feb. 21, officials closed beaches along the Southern California coast after untreated sewage leaked into the waters. The spill endangers both the local environment and community. This California ocean spill is the region’s second major incident of the year, hinting at a troubling trend.

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Beaches closed after the spill leaked an estimated 50,000 gallons of raw sewage into the water. Officials said that beaches will remain closed to the public until tests show that bacterial levels are within the required levels. 

Related: LA County beaches close after massive sewage spill

The spill has affected both recreational and economic activities, pushing fishers, surfers, swimmers and more out of the area. Further, fish and wildlife in the region will likely suffer heavily due to the contamination. The spill’s full impact on the area’s biodiversity is not yet known.

Officials said the spill started after a blocked sewer line began leaking at a restaurant in Newport Bay, California. As a result, gallons of untreated sewage poured into the water.

Sewage spills in Southern California have become increasingly common. In the last year, the region has witnessed several significant sewage and oil spills. Besides the latest incident, additional spills include the Dominguez Channel and El Segundo Beach sewage leaks and an oil spill along Huntington Beach.

Estimates claim that the Carson city spill poured over 8 million gallons of raw sewage into the water. The flow continued for several days before it was contained. Many hoped that this major spill would be an eye-opener for the state’s sewer managers. The latest spill seems to dash these hopes.

All three spills significantly affected the ecosystem and human life. The Dominguez Channel spill canceled plans for the area’s annual Polar Bear Swim. Meanwhile, the Huntington Beach spill destroyed local wildlife habitats. Unless officials work to prevent such spills, further incidents and ecosystem damage will likely continue.

Via HuffPost

Lead image via Pixabay