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Cleaner Ocean? Hyperion Re-Connects Distant Pipe

Nov 03, 2015 01:26PM ● Published by DigMB Staff

Local beachgoers who have been worried about the possible impact of "dirty" wastewater near the coastline might now worry less.

For about six weeks, the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in El Segundo has been discharging "treated wastewater" temporarily from an "emergency" outfall pipe just one mile offshore. Previously, the same wastewater was being discharged fully five miles offshore. 

Manhattan Beach was bound to be affected by the change, being so close to El Segundo, and our local beaches were impacted for a time.

Now, as of this week, the 5-mile-out pipe is reconnected, to the relief of many. Necessary repairs have now been completed, enhancing the Hyperion system's ability to withstand heavy flows and future storms, such as this winter's anticipated El Niño-influenced rainy season.

When the temporary nearer-to-coast discharge began September 21, residents and the local coastal advocacy group Heal the Bay expressed concerns about possible issues.

Quickly, one big problem arose: the coastline right in front of Hyperion, at Dockweiler Beach, was shut down September 23 due to high bacteria levels and the presence of sanitary and medical waste along the beach. The 2-day shutdown extended to 45th St. in the El Porto surfing district of Manhattan Beach.
 
Even after the beach reopened, there were many reports of what Heal the Bay calls "ocean discoloration" traced to phytoplankton blooms, and "red tides" were reported and tracked in the bay. 

There's hope now that any impacts from the temporary use of the closer "emergency" outfall pipe will now dissipate. Now, the biggest worry for surfers this winter will be the size of the waves.

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