SEPULVEDA DAM : Septic Disposal Site to Be Re-Evaluated

City officials are considering alternatives to a plan to dump most septic tank wastes from the city of Los Angeles and some surrounding areas at Sepulveda Basin water-treatment plant.

On Tuesday, city sanitation officials postponed for 60 days their request to the City Council Planning Committee for a zoning permit to complete construction of the septic-waste receiving facility at the Tillman Water Treatment Plant.

The 60 days are needed to analyze new dumping options, said Sam Furuta, deputy director of the Bureau of Sanitation. “We are going to do some alternatives analysis to demonstrate if Tillman is the right location for this facility,” Furuta said.

The bureau has been committed to developing Tillman as the central place in the city where residential septic tank effluent--collected from homes, many in affluent hillside areas not connected to the city’s sewer system--must be dumped. To that end, about $2 million has been spent modifying the Tillman plant to handle septic tank wastes and the work is virtually complete.


But the Sepulveda Basin plan has drawn flak from environmental activists who say it would degrade the basin, the Valley’s top open-space, recreation and wildlife refuge, by bringing more traffic, noise and odors to the area.

Still, the city’s investment in the existing Sepulveda Basin dumping plan will carry weight in the study, Furuta said. “Obviously, we can’t ignore the money that’s been spent,” he said.

Currently, septic tank wastes are dumped at seven designated manholes throughout the city by private hauling services.