It has been a little over a month since a sewage spill at the Hyperion Water Plant in Playa Del Rey released 17-million gallons of raw, untreated sewage into the ocean, many questions remain unanswered. On Tuesday, members of the Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment and the Hyperion Plant introduced new findings and reports as to what may have caused the disastrous spill.
Tim Dafeta, plant manager of the Hyperion Water Plant said significant quantities of debris blocked the Plant's filtering screens causing the spill. Wipes, construction material, and large debris like bicycle parts and couches largely contributed to the blockage of the filtering screens.
Environmental activist and founder of "Stop Illegal Dumping", Rick Swinger believes that illegal dumping into storm drains was a cause of the overwhelm at the Hyperion Water Plant. In a statement he said,
"The fact that the City sees bike parts and couches in the system means the City should be looking at encampments. When you look at all of the encampments on the streets and sidewalks, there are a significant number of couches and bike parts. That's logical thinking. To think otherwise would be illogical."
LA City Councilmember, Paul Krekorian said in front of the council, he blames trash not being properly disposed of on "irresponsible" members of the public.
"The source of this problem was not some failure by employees, it was not some failure of infrastructure, it was people doing stupid, irresponsible things. It was people doing irresponsible things and then expecting mommy-government to clean up after them"
Disposable wipes were said to have greatly contributed to this issue, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell discussed,
``I believe based on what I saw at Hyperion that the volume of supposedly disposable wipes being flushed down the toilets that have proliferated since before the pandemic but certainly since, by the millions every week helped lead to this disaster at Hyperion. These wipes are advertised as flushable in many instances and that is extremely deceptive and costly and dangerous to our sanitation workers,''
Rick Swinger would follow up to that statement,
"If a billion-dollar plant is vulnerable to wipes--we are all in trouble." ... "The list gets longer and longer of what the City is to blame for when they ignore the effects of the [homeless] encampments. It's their responsibility to protect our infrastructures. They obviously have not done that. It shows incompetence.”
On Tuesday, the council approved a new motion that would instruct the City's sanitation department to submit a report on how the notification of the public can be improved after the city and the Department of Public Health did not notify the public immediately after the spill.