LA's Heal the Bay Takes a Stand Against Flushing Trash


LA’s clean water advocates Heal the Bay provided  readers with a stern reminder about what to flush – and more importantly what not to flush. The message: be sure never to flush trash down the toilet.

Here’s what Heal the Bay wrote their members in their winter newsletter

Shame on careless Angelenos for making treatment plants have to deal with non-biodegradable items in the first place! Hyperion needs to do its part, but we need to do ours. The easiest place to start is remembering the so-called 3P rule — pee, poop and paper are the only items that belong in your toilet. No condoms. No cigarette butts. No dental floss. Anything else not only risks clogging the system

The reminder was prompted by a situation at the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion treatment plant in late 2015 when old trash was flushed out of the treatment plant’s storm drain system and out a temporary 1 mile outfall during a heavy rainstorm. The condoms, hypodermic needles and other debris washed up on the beach and caused a shock in Los Angeles. Hyperion was using their shorter 1 mile outfall during this time because of an upgrade project to the 5 mile outfall pumping system.

For wastewater professionals this is the same unacceptable trash, clumped together with wipes and grease, that we continue to see everyday clogging up the sewer system. Will Californians ever learn to only flush the 3Ps?

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Alec Mackie

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