Los Angeles sewage treatment plant needs extensive repair

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damage from a massive inundation of the main sewage treatment plant in Los Angeles will take a month or more to repair, the city sanitation department said.

The “nearly catastrophic flooding” of the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant on July 11 submerged significant areas of the plant and damaged equipment, but it continues treatment through a secondary process, a city statement said Wednesday.

Crews were working continuously to pump out and sanitize facilities, it said.

The plant on a bluff overlooking Santa Monica Bay treats 260 million gallons (984 million liters) per day and normally discharges it into the ocean through a pipe that runs 5 miles (8 kilometers) offshore.

The city said the accident occurred when the plant became inundated with overwhelming quantities of debris that caused a backup and overflow of its headworks facilities.

About 17 million gallons (64 million liters) of untreated wastewater flowed down the plant’s internal storm drains and through a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) outfall into the bay.

Water testing along miles of beaches found normal bacterial levels, the city said.

The city of El Segundo next to the plant has asked Los Angeles to assist residents unable to stay in their homes because of nausea and other symptoms due to odors.