Due to a power outage, L.A.’s largest treatment plant spews 17 million gallons of sewage into the ocean.
L.A.’s largest treatment plant spews 17 million gallons of sewage into the ocean due to a power failure.
Public health officials in Los Angeles recommended residents to avoid swimming at various beaches after 17 million gallons of untreated sewage leaked from the city’s largest treatment plant.
The enormous leak into the ocean, according to L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, was triggered by a power outage at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey on Sunday night. The sewage leak occurred over the weekend, when temperatures in Southern California hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Officials from the city of Los Angeles issued a warning on Monday about “elevated bacteria” levels in the ocean water off beaches from LAX to El Segundo. The authorities closed many beaches and prevented swimmers from entering the contaminated ocean waters until Tuesday morning.
According to the treatment plant’s administration, the 17 million gallons of sewage that escaped represent only 6% of the daily load. Unfiltered sewage was discharged into the Pacific Ocean through pipes that extended up to five kilometres into the water.
According to environmental groups, tampons and plastic trash bags can entangle wildlife and harbor disease, but they were successfully filtered out of the spillage before it reached Santa Monica Bay.
Officials warned potential beachgoers in Los Angeles that bacteria and viruses found in raw sewage are “very dangerous” and can spread a variety of illnesses.
The sewage flow was contained by the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation by Monday morning, but public health officials said they will continue to test the water in Santa Monica Bay, Dockweiler State Beach, and El Segundo Beach until Tuesday morning.
In the Grand Avenue Storm Drain and Dockweiler State Beach on the Water Way Extension, residents of Los Angeles County should avoid coming into touch with ocean water.
In a statement posted Monday, Hyperion Executive Plant Manager Timeyin Dafeta claimed the plant had been “inundated with enormous volumes of waste, producing backup of the headworks facilities.” Using the plant’s one-mile outfall and untreated sewage discharge into Santa Monica Bay, the plant’s relief mechanism was triggered, and sewage flows were regulated.”
Dafeta commended the sewage spill’s fast containment to workers at the treatment plant’s preventive steps, as well as recent “equipment advancements made in partnership with numerous environmental organizations.”
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