News Briefs: Long Beach Sees Largest Wastewater Spill on Record After Main Break

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has initiated the first application period for Extraordinary Maintenance projects addressing water infrastructure in the West

All the swimming areas in Long Beach, California, were closed recently due to a massive sewage spill.

According to the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, up to 8.5 million gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the Dominguez Channel, which terminates into the Los Angeles Harbor at the Port of Los Angeles. The sewage spill occurred in the City of Carson and was caused due to failure of a 48-inch sewer main line. 

 The City of Long Beach Health Department’s Water Quality inspection team is monitoring water quality along the affected beach sites, and officials say that water monitoring will continue until results comply with state water quality standards. Long Beach has approximately seven miles of public beach. To protect the safety of the public, weekly water samples are collected and tested routinely to monitor bacterial levels.

The spill is the largest on record for Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, spokesperson Bryan Langpap told CNN.

Applications Open for Infrastructure Funding Via Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bureau of Reclamation has initiated the first application period for Extraordinary Maintenance projects that will address aging water and power infrastructure across the West. Newly enacted funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be applied to the program following the new application period requirements set out in the separate Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

“This month, Reclamation is taking direct action to keep our water and power infrastructure operating reliably into the 21st century,” says Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Through a hybrid approach that combines 2021 BIL funding with the updated process set up in 2020, we are bringing the best of both worlds to bear on this problem. We will be in lock step with local partners; and because of that, we’re very confident that it will be a success.”

With the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is $3.2 billion over five years in the Aging Infrastructure Account to be used for extraordinary maintenance needs. Reclamation’s infrastructure is either reserved, which means operated by Reclamation, or transferred, where it is operated by local beneficiary parties through a contract with Reclamation. Both reserved and transferred works are eligible for BIL funding through the application process.

Clean Water Action Says Congress and White House Must Get Past BBB Roadblocks

Clean Water Action recently responded to the latest news on the negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, saying it is dismayed by the newest roadblocks to its passage.

“This bill is essential to fighting climate change by accelerating the transition to clean energy, investing in our water and other infrastructure, strengthening our economy, creating good jobs and supporting American families,” reads a statement from Clean Water Action. “We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to get negotiations back on track and pass this transformational legislation as soon as possible. Failure is not an option – our planet and communities demand action.”


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