Malibu beach reopens following sewage spill

This sign was posted to warn beachgoers to stay out of the water near Big Rock Drive after more than 100 gallons of sewage spilled Tuesday and shut down the beach until Friday.

A 100-yard stretch of beach in eastern Malibu was reopened Friday afternoon, three days after more than 100 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the waters near Big Rock Drive.

The beach was reopened just before 2 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Department of Health.

A 100-yard stretch of beach near Big Rock Drive in eastern Malibu will remain closed through at least Friday afternoon stemming from a sewage spillage earlier this week, county officials said.

Between 100-200 gallons of raw sewage spilled from a residence at 19830 Pacific Coast Highway on Tuesday due to a failed underground sewage reservoir, according to Bernard Franklin, Chief Environmental Health Specialist with the Los Angeles County Health Department. 

Water samples measuring bacteria level in the ocean water were taken on Wednesday and came back clean, Franklin said. Two clean tests are required for the the Department of Public Health to reopen the beach. A second set of samples were taken Thursday.

The earliest the stretch of beach could reopen as early as Friday afternoon, when results from the second set of samples will be available.

“We are asking people to avoid entering or swimming in the ocean in the area immediately surrounding 19830 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and County Health Officer. “Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of the people who visit the beach and water areas. Once we determine bacteria levels in the water have returned to normal, we will remove the beach advisory.”