Assistant City Manager Floyd Hartman held a press conference Tuesday morning to address the recent issues experienced by the Hollywood Road Wastewater Treatment Facility. That plant suffered three overflow episodes within 72 hours last week. In total, more than 900,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater overflowed but was collected in a Playa lake located on the property.
According to Hartman, there is no immediate environmental threat resulting from last week’s overflows. He noted what has happened at this facility is that, “the age of the infrastructure has shown itself through multiple events.”
When asked why, if this facility has had known issues for decades, they have not been addressed until now, Hartman said he pulled and reviewed the 2013 master plan and, “the issues weren’t identified until (the) late 2020 for the plant.”
In short, city leadership of decades ago most likely knew of this and other infrastructure issues but chose to remedy short-term problems rather than plan for the future which is where the city finds itself today.
Asked why the city would choose to purchase “refurbished” equipment for the Hollywood Road plant, such as what the city council will consider and most likely approve today, Hartman answered, “because that (gearbox) was bought in 1965, those are no longer manufactured new.”
Age and accessing available parts may be a problem for more than just this facility. Something the new mayor and council appear to be open to addressing and seeking long-term solutions.