- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two Los Angeles beaches were closed Thursday after hypodermic needles, condoms and other waste washed ashore and excessive bacteria levels were found in the water.

County health officials announced the closure of Dockweiler State Beach on Wednesday after the waste was spotted in sand along the 4-mile beach near Los Angeles International Airport. Just south of Dockweiler, El Segundo Beach was closed Thursday after the waste began washing up there.

Health officials collected at least 200 pounds of waste from the beaches, Los Angeles Sanitation District spokeswoman Tonya Durrell said. Officials believe it was discharged from a pipeline belonging to the city-owned Hyperion Treatment Plant.

The mile-long pipeline had been dormant but was brought back online last week as a heavy storm strained the regular 5-mile pipeline.

“It may have been sitting there, and as a result, the heavy rain storm and first flush of all of that may have pushed that matter out into the bay,” Durrell said.



No more solid waste was flowing from the mile-long pipeline and crews were working to reopen the beach as soon as possible, she said.

The Hyperion plant is designed to capture solid waste and the pipelines are supposed to discharge only treated wastewater.

Matthew King, a spokesman with environmentalist group Heal the Bay, said his group is concerned about Hyperion’s plans to prevent similar spills.

“Moving forward, we just have to make sure they think through what happens during heavy flows,” said King, whose group does regular water monitoring.

He also admonished members of the public for flushing needles and other debris down toilets, saying those items belong in the trash.

“It’s going to wind up in the ocean and turn our valuable resource into a cesspool,” he said. “Who knows what’s still lurking in the water.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide