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Sewage spill in Hawaiian Gardens the fault of Los Angeles County Sewer Maintenance not the City

BY BRIAN HEWS

Seven miles of shoreline in Long Beach remain closed after over 11,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the San Gabriel River last Sunday, flowing south to the city’s beaches.

The Los Angeles Times, the Long Beach Press Telegram, and other major media outlets blamed the spill on the city of Hawaiian Gardens.

But a simple email into the City would have caused the media outlets and their journalists to place the blame elsewhere, instead of making the City look bad in the eyes of their readers and beachgoers in Long Beach.

The responsibility of the spill lies squarely on the shoulders of Los Angeles County Public Works Sewer Maintenance Division not the City.

HMG-LCCN emailed Hawaiian Gardens City Manager Ernie Hernandez after the spill asking for information, Hernandez wrote, “On Sunday, City staff was made aware of a ‘water leak’ along Carson Blvd.  Upon responding and determining the nature and location of the leak, City staff reached out to Los Angeles County Public Works – Sewer Maintenance.”  

“Hawaiian Gardens has a contract with Los Angeles County Sewer Maintenance for their services and they are responsible for maintaining and cleaning the City’s sewer lines.”

The spill was caused by a “grease blockage” in a main sewage line, according to a Los Angeles County report, indicating an obvious lack of maintenance by the LACO Sewer Department caused the spill.

Yet the media outlets did not indicate the sewer pipes are maintained by Los Angeles County, placing the fault with Hawaiian Gardens.

Anissa Davis, Long Beach’s city health officer, ordered closure of the beaches on Monday until water quality improved.

Authorities said the beaches will not reopen until Wednesday at the earliest and only if the tests come back in a satisfactory range.

Jesse Alvarado, Mayor of Hawaiian Gardens told HMG-LCCN,“The sewage spill and subsequent beach closures are truly unfortunate events. Los Angeles County maintains the City’s sewer lines and responded to the incident quickly.  Hawaiian Gardens is fully cooperating with L.A. County Public Works to determine the cause of the blockage in the lines. I commend our Hawaiian Gardens Public Works staff for alerting L.A. County to the spill on Sunday morning so that it was addressed as quickly as possible.”

For further updates, people can call the water hotline at (562) 570-4199.

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