More than 48 tons of untreated sewage was dumped into Santa Monica Bay in California from Sunday evening to early Monday morning, which caused the closure of beaches, as well as criticism of officials for not immediately notifying the public about the threat.

The problem reached a climax at the Hyperion water processing plant, located in the Playa del Rey area of Los Angeles, on Sunday evening. The senior director of public information of the city department said that the discharge of sewage into the bay was due to the fact that garbage that is not intended for recycling got into the plant.

As a result, everything led to the fact that the garbage flooded and unloaded the system, and then the plant was completely flooded. “In order to avoid the shutdown of the entire plant, which would be a disaster, we had to dump some of the untreated wastewater into the bay, thereby facilitating the operation of the system,” Hyperion representatives commented on the situation.

The Department of Public Health posted a message on Twitter about the ban on swimming on some beaches in Los Angeles. Officials advised vacationers to stay away from the water until the warning is lifted. However, the delay between the discharge of untreated wastewater and the notification of the public has caused criticism. “There is a protocol that requires the immediate closure of beaches in the event of a spill of untreated wastewater, but it took hours,” said a representative of a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental protection and water quality in Los Angeles.