EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA) – El Segundo residents who were impacted by the 17-million gallon sewage spill earlier this month are eligible to receive financial reimbursement for either hotel stays or air conditioning units, Los Angeles city officials announced Thursday.
On July 11, about 17-million gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the ocean from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. A county official initially tweeted that a power outage had caused the problem, but plant officials later attributed it to debris that clogged screens and caused flooding at the facility.
The spill shut down the coastline to swimmers and surfers between El Segundo Beach and Dockweiler State Beach.
Crews are still working to remove excess water and sewage from the facility, and in the meantime, the city is offering nearby residents help to cope with the smell.
Those who don’t have air conditioning can purchase air conditioning units and be reimbursed $600 for homes 1,000 square feet and smaller, and $1,200 for homes more than 1,000 square feet.
If residents prefer to stay in a hotel room, they can be reimbursed up to $182 per day, as well as meals and incidentals up to $62 per day for each person who lives full time in the household. The offer is available through July 29.
The offers are available to El Segundo residents who have homes within the boundaries of Imperial Highway, El Segundo Boulevard and Main Street. Applications must be submitted within 24 hours of checking into a hotel or purchasing an air conditioning unit.
The beaches were reopened July 14 after ocean water samples collected over two days met state standards for acceptable water quality, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Hyperion Executive Plant Manager Timeyin Dafeta issued a statement on July 12 saying the plant “became inundated with overwhelming quantities of debris, causing backup of the headworks facilities. The plant’s relief system was triggered and sewage flows were controlled through use of the plant’s one- mile outfall and discharge of untreated sewage into Santa Monica Bay.”
Dafeta said the 17 million gallons of sewage — about 6% of a daily load — were discharged as an emergency measure to prevent the plant from going offline and discharging even more raw sewage. Normally, treated sewage is discharged through the five-mile outfall, not the one-mile outfall.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)