Public Opinion Sought on Sanitation Master Plan

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County are beginning a public outreach effort in support of a new master facilities plan, "Clearwater Program," for the joint outfall system network serving 73 of Los Angeles County's 88 cities, including La Cañada Flintridge. The local water reclamation plant is located on the grounds of the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.

The joint outfall system includes six water reclamation plants and the joint water pollution control plant that is located in the city of Carson, interconnected by more than 1,200 miles of main trunk sewers with 50 pumping plants serving local sewer systems. The JWPCP is the sanitation districts' only ocean discharge wastewater treatment facility.

The hope is that the master plan will ensure the continuation of a system protective of public health and the environment, provide adequate capacity for population projections, and evaluate opportunities for increased reuse of reclaimed water. It will also evaluate the sanitation districts' infrastructure, including the possible need to construct new tunnel and outfall from the JWPCP to the ocean. Two existing tunnels, built in the 1930s and 1950s, convey treated waste water to ocean outfalls extending from the Palos Verdes Peninsula approximately 1.5 miles offshore to a depth of 200 feet. The tunnels have not been inspected in nearly 50 years.

"A new tunnel and ocean outfall would yield many advantages including the ability to inspect existing tunnels and make any necessary repairs to keep them operational," said Steve Maguin, the sanitation districts' chief engineer and general manager.

Preparation of the master plan and environmental review process will begin in the middle of this year. It is anticipated a draft environmental impact statement and draft master facilities plan will be ready for public review in mid-2008.

"Public input is one of the most important aspects of the planning process, and we will make every effort to reach all segments of the many diverse interests throughout the joint outfall system early in the process," said Maguin.

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