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SCIENCE
December 24, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The "rotten cabbage" odor near sewage treatment plants, whose source has been a mystery for decades, is probably the result of trace concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide in wastewater, a German-American team reported online this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. DMSO, a common industrial solvent, is not itself odorous or toxic, but it can readily be converted to foul-smelling dimethyl sulfide by bacteria.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Will somebody come clean about those soap-like bubbles in Malibu's tiny Marie Canyon Creek? A legal battle between an environmental crusader and Pepperdine University is raising questions about a frothy cascade of storm water that periodically spills over a beach lined with celebrity homes and into the Pacific Ocean. Videographer Cary ONeal, who blogs as "Mr. Malibu," insists that the runoff is tainted by a sewage treatment plant that serves the university and a housing tract next door, and that the school should be held to task for it. Pepperdine officials dispute that and have gone to court to prevent ONeal's accusation and home-made videos of the sudsy flow from going viral.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 1987
New large buildings in Los Angeles and in more than 20 other cities that use the Los Angeles sewer system should provide their own sewage treatment, City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky said Friday. He introduced a motion requiring that new buildings of more than 80,000 square feet be equipped with facilities to treat the waste before it enters sewers. This would help reduce the load on the trouble-prone Los Angeles sewer system, Yaroslavsky said. The motion will be considered early next year.
WORLD
September 2, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Protests over a powerful stench from a sewage treatment plant in eastern China drew up to 10,000 people and left 10 people hurt in clashes, residents and a human rights monitor said. Angry villagers in Fujian province confronted 2,000 riot police officers over a wastewater treatment plant that had fouled the area's air and water, Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 1989 | LEONARD BERNSTEIN, Times Staff Writer
City officials quietly warned the San Diego City Council this week that tentative cost estimates for upgrading the city's sewage treatment system have sharply increased, with the six options now under consideration, ranging in price from $2.4 billion to $4.2 billion, City Hall sources said Wednesday. If they hold up under further analysis, the new estimates would reflect an increase of hundreds of millions of dollars over the $1.5-billion to $2.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 1988 | DAVID REYES, Times Staff Writer
The Orange County Sanitation Districts have begun a major public information campaign to help settle an environmentally sensitive question: Should the districts, which provide sewage treatment to 1.2 million residents--or 87% of the county's population--improve sewage treatment or seek a second waiver of the national Clean Water Act, which would allow continued ocean dumping of waste water treated to less than full standards?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 1986 | JANNY SCOTT, Times Staff Writer
The San Diego City Council on Tuesday agreed to look into alternative ways of bringing the metropolitan area's sewage-disposal system into line with federal law, while it works on its application for a waiver from those treatment standards. The council did not specify which alternatives it was asking the city's staff to explore. But Mayor Maureen O'Connor, who made the proposal, spoke of collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a mutually acceptable plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1986 | JANNY SCOTT, Times Staff Writer
At a time when public pressure has forced smaller towns to abandon plans to cut sewage treatment, the San Diego city manager is recommending that the city continue its fight to avoid upgrading the quality of the 170 million gallons of waste it dumps in the ocean daily.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 1997
What the heck is going on at the Sepulveda Basin? One day, a lowlife with a gun is shooting at a rap artist in the tunnels beneath a sewage treatment plant, and a few days later, ninja assassins are rappelling down a wall and crashing cars on an adjacent access road. Not too long ago, a maniacal police chief at the plant's administration building dispatched a cyborg killer to execute a kick-boxing Secret Service agent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 1995 | SCOTT COLLINS and LORENZA MUNOZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan raised the stakes in an emotional environmental debate by suggesting this week that the city should re-examine its commitment to providing advanced treatment of ocean-bound sewage. Arguing that the court-imposed treatment has caused water bills to skyrocket and hampered the local economy, Riordan wants to study whether the city should scale back a $1.6-billion expansion project at the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey, according to a top aide.
NATIONAL
March 26, 2009 | Associated Press
Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday. Findings from this first nationwide study of human drugs in fish tissue have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to expand similar research to more than 150 locations.
BOOKS
May 25, 2008 | Chris Daley
In a city known for its glamour, talk of sewage may seem inapt, but it is also essential to understanding Los Angeles, because each day "6,700 miles of sewers convey 450 million gallons of wastewater . . . from more than four million people to four treatment plants." "Brown Acres: An Intimate History of the Los Angeles Sewer System" by Anna Sklar (Angel City Press: 232 pp., $19.95 paper) takes an unprecedented look at what lies beneath the sprawling 465.
TRAVEL
December 30, 2007
Amy Hubbard got it right in her article on camping at Carpinteria State Beach ["Wisps of Magic in Carpinteria," Dec. 23]. I have only two things to add. Make every effort to avoid camping across from the sewage treatment plant. The air shifts twice a day, and the smell is absolutely nauseating. Second, a man I met there said he brings "disposable" clothing for himself and his kids because they all get covered in tar. They just throw it away when they leave.
SCIENCE
December 24, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The "rotten cabbage" odor near sewage treatment plants, whose source has been a mystery for decades, is probably the result of trace concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide in wastewater, a German-American team reported online this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. DMSO, a common industrial solvent, is not itself odorous or toxic, but it can readily be converted to foul-smelling dimethyl sulfide by bacteria.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2005 | Tim Reiterman, Times Staff Writer
Contaminants from the Central Coast beach town of Los Osos, which still uses septic tanks to treat sewage from thousands of homes, are fouling groundwater and seeping into the neighboring Morro Bay National Estuary, according to state officials. Although groundwater pollution was discovered in the town of 15,000 more than two decades ago, state officials have not been able to stop it -- despite a ban on new septic tank hookups in most of the town.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Up to 40,000 gallons of sewage streamed eight miles from San Luis Obispo's treatment plant to Avila Beach, forcing swimmers out of the polluted ocean waters. A computer glitch at the Los Osos Valley Road plant was blamed for the spill Tuesday morning, which went unreported for hours. Health officials closed off water access in Avila Beach, although people were allowed on the sand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 1986 | JENIFER WARREN, Times Staff Writer
Under siege from a robust army of angry, well-organized residents, Oceanside officials have abandoned their plan to reduce treatment of 11 million gallons of sewage pumped into the ocean each day. After a lengthy public hearing before a crowd of about 300 Tuesday night, City Council members voted unanimously to withdraw their application for a federal permit to discharge dirtier waste water through an ocean outfall pipe stretching more than a mile offshore.
NEWS
March 10, 2002
Re "Plant in Surf City to Bleach Waste," Feb. 23: According to The Times, the Orange County Sanitation District will use bleach to eliminate potential danger from the effluent off Huntington Beach. Is this to protect the public by disinfecting the effluent? No, it's to give the illusion of protection, another con job by the authorities. As stated in the article, half the waste water receives only primary treatment. Any sanitary engineer worth his or her salt knows better than to chlorinate primary effluent.
NATIONAL
May 20, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it would not allow sewage treatment plants to skip a process for killing some disease-causing micro-organisms after heavy rains or snow melts. The decision reverses a plan proposed in November 2003. Hours after EPA's announcement, the House approved a measure to block the agency's 2003 proposal from taking effect. The measure had been offered by lawmakers before EPA's about-face. If the EPA had adopted the policy, U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2005 | Miguel Bustillo, Times Staff Writer
Cities must comply with strict state regulations to reduce water pollution regardless of the costs, as long as the rules are necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The unanimous decision is the latest development in a seven-year legal battle between state regulators and the cities of Los Angeles and Burbank over cleanup standards for sewer plants.
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