Seventeen million gallons of raw sewage was dumped into the Gulf of Santa Monica earlier this week after a massive wastewater treatment plant in Los Angeles ran into problems, prompting several beaches to close about 12 hours later that were sharply criticized for not being quick.
Beaches that stretched more than 2.5 miles west of the Pacific coast west of Los Angeles International Airport reopened Wednesday after being closed for two days, according to public health officials.
However, despite allowing swimmers and surfers to return to the sea, drainage from the Heparin Water Reclamation Plant, one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the world, continues to operate as a result.
Critics say the city’s public works department and the Los Angeles County Public Health Department took more than 12 hours to warn beach passengers about the discharge – it lasted about eight hours from Sunday night to Monday morning.
It was not until late Monday morning that the first beach closure signs appeared at the edge of the nearby coast, The Los Angeles Times reported. The county health agency did not mention the closure until Monday evening local time, when it published a news item Twitter account.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called for an investigation into what went wrong at the sewage treatment plant and the city and county’s response.
“What happened off the coast of Dockwella Beach yesterday was irresponsible, unacceptable and dangerous,” County Supervisor Janice Han said Tuesday. Twitter. “The hyperion plant not only discharged 1 million gallons of sewage into our oceans, the public had no information about it for hours.”
The city’s public works agency said in an earlier statement issued by the executive manager of the agent that plant operators followed protocols to notify local and state agencies about emergency discharge.
The executive manager, Timin Dafata, said the plant was submerged in a large amount of debris on Sunday afternoon, which backed up the main functionality facility.
Mr Dafata said: “The plant’s relief system was introduced and the flow of sewage was controlled through one-mile flow of the plant and untreated sewage in Santa Monica Bay.”
The city emits 1 million gallons of raw sewage, which the city estimates represents about a percent of the average daily load.
“We are investigating the cause of the wreckage (primarily construction and landscaping materials and grease balls), and repairing damaged equipment,” Mr Dafata said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health did not immediately comment Thursday on why it took about a day and a half to post signs of beach closure.
In this News release The agency said on Wednesday that water samples taken from the four beaches that had been closed for the past two days were acceptable for reopening. These beaches are: Dockweller State Beach in the Waterway Extension, Dockweller State Beach at the Hyperion Plant, El Segundo Beach, and the beach near the Grand Avenue Storm Drain.
Immediate sewage and contaminated water after rain can expose swimmers to waterborne germs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Report said. Post on his website Children, the elderly and patients with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of illness.
The most common illness associated with contact with sewage is gastroenteritis, which the EPA says can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, or fever. Ear, eye, nose and throat infections are also at risk.
In one of the proposals, which was unanimously approved on Tuesday, the county board of supervisors also instructed officials to create an action plan so that they could respond to sewage disposal more timely in the future.
“We can never repeat this nightmare scene,” Mr. Han said.
In a Instagram post On Wednesday, the head of the Ocean and Water Resources Environment Group, Hill the Bay, said the delay put the public at risk.
Shelley Luce, president and chief executive of the group, said in the post, “LA County Public Health needs a protocol to inform the public about dangerous sewage contamination.”