A section of seawater along Newport Beach has been closed to the public as authorities warn of the risk of diarrhea and vomiting from swimming.
Orange County Health Care Agency officials closed waters on both sides of the Aloha Drive Bridge near Lower Newport Bay in California on July 30 due to a sewage disaster.
About 140 gallons of sewage spilled into the water after a rupture in a sewer line.
Officials said the lockdown will impact areas in contact with the seawater for at least three days.
Specifically, it’s about swimming, surfing and diving taboo in the area.
After three days, authorities will continue to monitor water quality until it meets “acceptable standards”.
The bridge is between Bayside Drive and Linda Island approximately 500 feet up shore and 500 feet down shore.
Local Health Officer Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong said KABC that the sewage spilled into the water after a boat ran into a sewer line crossing the bridge along the Aloha Dr. runs.
“Our health agency’s environmental health team is out there accessing the water,” Chinsio-Kwong said.
“They did initial testing this morning to determine levels of E. coli and enterococci in the water.”
The health official confirmed that the area was closed to the public and that the agency had warned locals and tourists to avoid contact with the contaminated parts of the water.
Specifically, she warned of the risk of diarrhea and vomiting.
“We don’t want anyone swimming in the water in the potentially affected area because the high concentration of bacteria can potentially cause skin infections and upper respiratory tract infections, or cause many gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting,” Chinsio-Kwong said.
The agency believes the bacterial concentration is slowly declining due to natural decay from UV rays or “sediments sinking to the bottom of the area.”
“Once we have two consecutive negative reports or acceptable reports of these levels, the area can be reopened for recreational sports,” Chinsio-Kwong added.
As of Tuesday noon local time, the area was still closed with a warning listed on the OC Health Care Agency website.