When Costa Mesa Sanitary District employees arrived at work Wednesday morning, they found themselves witnessing the aftermath of an unusually dirty mess.
Someone had thrown feces on the district's West 19th Street headquarters, contaminating the sidewalls, windows and front door.
Given some past issues in the area, district officials believe a homeless person is responsible for the act, which was cleaned up by a power-washer service by around 8 a.m. — an hour after employees first saw the damage and before police arrived to make their report.
District General Manager Scott Carroll said the vandal might not have been singling out a government agency.
"I think it was just there, and someone decided to do it," Carroll said. "That's my opinion."
Because of the amount of waste found, officials said the material was animal feces, not human.
This isn't the first time this type of incident has happened at the district's Westside headquarters, 628 W. 19th St.
"We've had people put feces on the handrails," Carroll said, adding that homeless have been known to congregate in the parking lot or sleep on the building's entrance ramp.
"It's gotten better recently, but they're still around," he said. "Sometimes they cause a little havoc on the building, on the property."
Wednesday's incident, though, was the worst the district has seen, Carroll said.
"It looks like it took a lot of effort," he said.
The building has a security system inside, but nothing significant for the outside, other than ample lighting.
Carroll said the agency may look into security measures for the outside of the two-story building, though no plans — which would require board approvals — are imminent.
"We're not there yet," he said, "but obviously if this happens again, we'll definitely consider it."