17 Million Gallons of Sewage Released Into Los Angeles Oceans, Causing Beach Closures
At the Hyperion sewage treatment plant in Playa Del Ray, Los Angeles' oldest and largest wastewater treatment plant, 17 million gallons of sewage only accounts for 6% of the daily load.
Los Angeles beaches were closed Monday after 17 million gallons of unfiltered sewage spilled into the oceans. Public health officials are now warning residents to avoid affected waters pending test results from water samples.
The closed beaches, from El Segundo to Dockweiler State beaches, account for about four miles of shore and will remain closed until the water sample tests come back negative for bacteria, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The wastewater discharge was intentional, Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant officials said. The sewage plant in Playa Del Ray was clogged after being overwhelmed Sunday afternoon, and officials made the emergency decision to discharge 17 million gallons of sewage one mile offshore instead of the typical five miles, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The intentional discharge was meant to prevent an even larger spill, officials said.
Los Angeles County Supervisor attributed the clog to a mechanical failure, according to a tweet.
“I understand that the plant was able to prevent an even larger spill, but we are going to need answers about how and why this happened,” she said on Twitter.
The Hyperion sewage treatment plant is Los Angeles’ oldest and largest wastewater treatment plant, and 17 million gallons of sewage accounts for only 6% of its daily load, the LA Times reported.
It has been in operation since the late 1800s, and was designed to accommodate 450 million gallons of wastewater per day, according to the Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment website.
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