El Segundo moves to sue L.A. over massive Santa Monica Bay sewage spill, foul odors
MOVING to Los Angeles could bring about a lawsuit by city officials over the city’s handling of a massive underground sewage spill in Santa Monica Bay. The city of Santa Monica admitted to causing a massive sewage spill last December, when the city failed to detect how far the sewage had spread before it was removed. And now, Santa Monica is trying to turn the spill into a victory, claiming that the city’s waste treatment system was broken.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles has begun sending some of the worst smelling sewage to the ocean, when the city’s sewage pipes are underwater. And that might not be good.
By Robert Frank
A recent letter by the city of Los Angeles to Santa Monica City Councilmember Jose Huizar about a sewage spill in Santa Monica Bay is the tip of a huge lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the city of Santa Monica should have known there was a problem, but it also claims it cannot manage an underground sewage spill, leaving the cleanup to Los Angeles.
Now, two sides are jockeying for control of a massive sewage spill that could cost billions in clean-up costs and lawsuits.
Underneath Santa Monica Bay is an underground sewage system that runs for 2.5 miles from the shoreline of Santa Monica County all the way out to the ocean. It holds the sewage for the next 1,100 acres of Santa Monica Bay, a bay that is 1,900 acres deep and that used to be the home to more than 300 species of plants and animals.
Most of the plants and animals are gone now, but the sewage system is still there and the Bay has been filled in. There’s only one exit for the sewage out to the ocean: a pipe that leads from the sewage treatment plant to an overflow pipe. When the sewage flow exceeds that amount, water from the ocean can soak into the sewage pipe.
Over time, that sewage can break through the pipe, enter the Bay, and come back