By Amy Silverstein

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles asked city workers to stop watching the Olympics online because it has caused a worrying spike in Internet traffic on municipal servers.

"Colleagues: We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online," said an email sent to all city workers from Randi Levin, general manager of the city's Information Technology Agency. "I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations."

The email provided few specifics about which department was responsible for the spike, and Levin did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Brittney Marin, press deputy for Councilman Bernard Parks, said employees were surprised by the message.

"None of us even realized it was an issue," she said. "It's sent to every single city employee. That isn't just City Hall - that's if you're a park ranger, if you're a firefighter for the city ... so realistically we have no idea who was abusing it."

Mark Wolf, executive officer for the city's information technology agency, said tech employees found traffic on the city's Internet network was about 20 percent higher than usual, mostly due to video streaming.

"That is not a significant level to impact the city's business ... but it was enough of a warning for us to send out (the email) as a proactive measure," Wolf said.

(Editing By Cynthia Johnston and Stacey Joyce)