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A massive raw sewage spill in California on Friday forced the city of Long Beach to close all swimming areas at nearby beaches, according to officials. According to a press release from the City of Long Beach, between 2 million and 4 million gallons (7.6 million to 15 million liters) of raw sewage leaked into the Dominguez Channel, which empties into the Los Angeles harbor, on Thursday.
According to the release, the leak occurred in Carson and was caused by the failure of a 48-inch sewer main line. It wasn’t clear why the line failed right away. Long Beach city water quality teams are testing the level of pollutants in the affected areas, which include 7 miles (11 kilometers) of beaches. Swimming in the waters will be prohibited until the levels of pollution return to normal. Tourists who had come to the area for New Year’s celebrations were disappointed by the news. “You come all this way and you don’t get to play in the sand or the ocean? That doesn’t seem fair,” Sandi Williams, who had traveled from suburban Massachusetts, told the Los Angeles Times. “We were so looking forward to this change in scenery, but like everywhere, there’s catastrophe.”