Mayor Tom Bradley endorsed a plan Monday for limited controls on construction in Los Angeles to prevent sewage overflows, but his chief critic on the City Council said Bradley ignored "warning signs" that an immediate lid on new building is needed.
Bradley stopped short of predicting when construction limits might be imposed, although city engineers have been concerned for several months about an impending lack of capacity in the sewer system.
The system handles about 440 million gallons of raw sewage a day from Los Angeles and more than 20 other cities. Capacity is 480 million gallons a day. Since June, the flow has increased at a rate of 9 million gallons a day.
City Engineer Bob Horii, joining Bradley at a press conference, said it was too soon to know if a limit on new construction is needed this year. The plan endorsed by Bradley calls for Horii and other city officials to calculate monthly how fast the sewage is increasing, then allocate permits to builders to hook up to the city sewers if capacity is threatened.
City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky charged that Bradley and his staff were ignoring danger signals about the sewer system reaching capacity. "Apparently, they are going to wait and wait," Yaroslavsky said.