05/15/2012 02:53 pm ET

South Pasadena Sewage Spill: 5,500 Gallons Of Raw Sewage Ends Up In Long Beach, Beaches Close

It was a brown, lumpy river that must have reaked to high heavens.

Approximately 5,500 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Arroyo Seco in South Pasadena Saturday night and traveled into the Los Angeles River to Long Beach about 30 miles away, the Associated Press reports. The cause was a sewer system blockage.

Beaches north of the Belmont Pier in Long Beach have been posted with Long Beach Health Department signs warning that the beaches are closed, the Orange County Register reports. Officials will conduct daily bacterial tests to determine when the water is safe again, at which point the beaches will be reopened for swimming.

The problem is not a new one for South Pasadena. "South Pas City Council approved a consent judgement with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and Attorney General in November after violating the Clean Water Act and allowing 26 raw sewage spills between 2007 and 2011. The consent judgement says the city must spend $11 million towards a new sewer system over the next nine years," Patch reports.

For updates on the water quality in Long Beach, conatct the Department of Health and Human Services Water Quality at 562-570-4199 or

For some cleaner options, check out HuffPost's top ten beach getaways of Southern California:

LA Mag's Sweet Spots On The Southern California Coast