"Health officials face anger over hours-long delay before notifying public of danger".
"Seventeen million gallons of untreated sewage were discharged into California’s Santa Monica Bay between Sunday evening and early Monday morning, spurring beach closures, as well as criticism of how health officials notified the public about potential safety risks.
The problems came to a head at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, located in the Playa del Rey area of Los Angeles, on Sunday evening. An “unusual amount of debris” – including construction waste and grease, among other refuse – entered the plant through its sewer lines, said Elena Stern, a senior public information director for the city’s department of public works.
These items, which Hyperion is not designed to process, “just inundated and overwhelmed the system”, clogging the screens which, in turn, caused flooding at the plant. “To avoid having the entire plant shut down, which would have been catastrophic, we had to discharge some of the untreated sewage to alleviate the system,” Stern said."