News Briefs: WWTP Spill in Los Angeles Causes Beaches to Close

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the USDA is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure

A recent mechanical failure at Los Angeles’ oldest wastewater treatment plant — the Hyperion plant — caused 17 million gallons of untreated sewage to spill into Santa Monica Bay.

As a result of the spill, about 4 miles of beaches in the area of the El Segundo and Dockweiler state beaches were closed to swimming.

The Hyperion plant has been in operation since 1894 and was designed to accommodate a flow of 450 mgd, according to USA Today.

Power Outage Causes Spill in Kansas City

A large wastewater spill recently occurred in Kansas City after a power outage caused by a storm knocked out the KC Water Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ability to clean its water.

During that outage, an estimated 42.5 million gallons of untreated wastewater made its way into the Blue River, according to the Kansas City Star.

KC Water spokesperson Heather Frierson told the newspaper that the wastewater was significantly diluted due to heavy rainfall.

USDA to Invest $307 Million to Modernize Rural Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico.

The investments being announced follow President Joe Biden’s announcement of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that will make the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. The framework aims to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines, helping address barriers faced by communities of color, Tribal communities, and rural America.

“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” says Vilsack. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color. This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities that need it most to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”

USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities. They will help improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.


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