SEAVIEW — Due to suspected sewage contamination, the state Department of Ecology on Friday, Jan. 22, issued an emergency closure for Holman Beach, the area surrounding the drainage creek that runs parallel to 30th street in Seaview.
Beach-goers should not touch, drink or — most importantly — harvest razor clams or any other seafood near the creek, Scott Berbells, a state Department of Health employee who works in the shellfish program said on Jan. 22.
According to Berbells, the state closed the beach as a precautionary measure. Recent heavy rains overloaded the City of Long Beach’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, leading to an accidental discharge of under-treated wastewater. The treatment plant discharges into the creek, about 2.5 to 3 miles upstream from the 30th street drainage, Berbells said. Wastewater treatment plant employees are required to notify the state whenever there is an unintentional discharge.
The affected area extends from roughly 300 yards south of the creek to 300 yards north of the creek. State Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have already posted closure notices that clearly mark the off-limits area, Berbells said. The state has collected water samples, but the results aren’t in yet, so the beach will likely stay closed through the weekend.
According to the DOE, “Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.”