OC Health Care Agency Lifts Water Closure in Surfside and Sunset Beach

UPDATE: As of January 3, the Orange County Health Care Agency has lifted closure orders for ocean water at Sunset Beach and Surfside based on recent water quality testing results.

As of 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2022, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has issued an ocean water closure for Surfside and Sunset Beach due to increased levels of bacteria as a result of yesterday’s sewage spill. All individuals are advised to stay out of the ocean in Huntington Beach, north of Warner Avenue. The OCHCA will continue to monitor bacteria levels at HB beaches and we will provide more details related to this closure, and others if necessary, as they become available.

We are aware of the Dominguez Channel sewage spill that originated in the City of Carson and is currently impacting beaches and water quality north of Huntington Beach. The sewage spill was originally estimated to be between 2 and 4 million gallons but that estimate has since been increased to be between 6 and 7 million gallons. The Dominguez Channel flows into the Los Angeles Port, causing more substantial impacts to Los Angeles County.

Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has closed ocean water access at Seal Beach’s main beach and it will remain closed to swimming, surfing and other water activities until water quality testing meets acceptable standards.  We will continue to work with the OCHCA to monitor water quality and determine what steps, if any, are necessary for beaches in Huntington Beach. As we know more, we will be issuing additional guidance on potential impacts and closures. At this time, OCHCA has not issued any closure announcements for Sunset Beach or Huntington Beach.

“News of the Dominguez Channel sewage spill is concerning for our community,” said Mayor Barbara Delgleize. “I along with City staff will be monitoring this ongoing situation. As always, we remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors, and safeguarding our environmental and ecological assets.”

Please note that due to the recent rain, the OHCHA has issued a rain advisory currently in effect for all Orange County beaches. This rain advisory is not related to the sewage spill, but advises swimmers to avoid coastal waters impacted by recent rain discharge as bacteria could be at an elevated level for the next 3 days.  For more information on beach impacts, please visit www.OCBeachInfo.com for the latest.

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