Hyperion Sewage Spill Overview

On July 11, 2021, a power outage caused a shutdown at the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant near Dockweiler State Beach in California, and raw sewage inundated the facility and triggered an emergency discharge of more than 17 million gallons of debris into Santa Monica Bay just one mile offshore.

As a result, about four miles of beaches were closed along the Los Angeles coastline, from El Segundo to the southern end of Playa Del Rey. More than two weeks later, on July 29, several of the same beaches were again placed under county health advisories because bacteria levels exceeded state standards.

Some groups accused the plant of continuing to operate after the spill even though it is unable to fully treat the sewage, which would be a violation of the plant’s discharge permit since it would exceed limits for metrics like total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, turbidity, and settleable solids.

Two Types of Sewage Spill Claims You Can File:

  • Nuisance Claim— You may be entitled to monetary compensation if your neighborhood was affected by the odor and smells of the sewage spill.
  • Bacterial Infections Claim— If you contracted infections or illnesses from bacteria in the water, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
aerial view of an oil refinery on the beach of la
beach closed due to high bacteria levels in the water sign at sunset warns people to stay out of the water.

Nuisance Claims over Sewage Spill in El Segundo, Manhattan Beach

The El Segundo sewage spill resulted in such a strong odor invading the nearby communities that the City of Los Angeles offered reimbursements for air-conditioning units and hotel stays to local residents until Aug. 5.

Area residents are entitled to monetary compensation for nuisance claims. If you live in El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, or near Dockweiler State Beach on the Santa Monica Bay, find out if you can receive compensation.

LA Sewage Spill Investigations Determine Further Legal Action

Ensuing investigations into the spill were conducted by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. City Council, as health officials continued to monitor bacteria levels at nearby beaches daily.

LA Sanitation & Environment officials called the crisis a near catastrophe. They said that had the entire facility failed, 260 million gallons of raw sewage could have been flowing into the ocean every day.

Just a few months after the El Segundo sewage spill, up to 131,000 gallons of oil flowed from a rig run by Amplify Energy into the Pacific Ocean just 30 miles south of the Hyperion Plant in Huntington Beach. Find out about the SSMS Trial Lawyers Orange County Oil Spill Lawsuit.



What happens if you swim in water with high bacteria levels?

High bacteria levels in the water you swim in can cause sicknesses and rashes. Nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fevers, and chills are all common symptoms, as well as skin rashes and infections in the ears, eyes, and nasal cavities.

What are the health risks of breathing raw sewage?

Similar to the risks of swimming in water with high bacteria levels, breathing raw sewage can cause nausea, irritation of the eyes, ears, throat, and nose, and difficulty breathing. At very high concentrations, asphyxiation and death are also possible, as sewer gas is composed of toxic compounds like methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.

What should I do if I went swimming at Dockweiler State Beach or El Segundo Beach in Late July, 2021?

If you were in or came in contact with the water in the Santa Monica Bay after July 11, 2021, you should be mindful of any symptoms you may have related to the increased bacteria levels. Carefully document anything out of the ordinary, and follow the investigations and any impending legal actions. If you feel you have been harmed, SSMS Trial Lawyers will be happy to offer you a free consultation and keep you advised of your legal options.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you should always contact a licensed medical professional and seek treatment.

Is the sewage spill responsible for the elevated bacteria levels?

Although the beach closures due to elevated bacteria levels occurred just over two weeks after the Hyperion Water Treatment spill, the Los Angeles County Health Department has publicly stated that the reason for elevated levels of bacteria in the Santa Monica Bay is unknown.

There is currently no sewage flowing from the plant, and there are several reasons for the rise in bacteria levels, according to the health department.

Is the City of Los Angeles taking action against Hyperion for the sewage spill?

Currently, the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have ordered investigations into the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant spill.

The L.A. Regional Water Quality Control Board also ordered Hyperion to provide monitoring and reporting related to the spill.

Is there compensation for residents after the Hyperion spill?

The City of Los Angeles offered reimbursements for air conditioning units and hotel stays for local residents after the Hyperion spill, due to the overwhelming stench of raw sewage permeating throughout the area.

Multiple ensuing investigations could potentially lead to more compensation for residents of Playa Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, and other nearby communities.

If you believe you suffered illness or physical harm as a result of the elevated bacteria levels in the Santa Monica Bay, you can contact SSMS Trial Lawyers for a free consultation. If there is any lawsuit or settlement resulting from the Hyperion spill, SSMS will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

How can I file a nuisance complaint if smells from the El Segundo sewage spill affected me?

If you live in the surrounding neighborhoods of the Hyperion sewage spill, you may be eligible to file a nuisance complaint and receive monetary compensation. If unsavory smells and interruption of the enjoyment of your property resulted from the LA sewage spill, contact SSMS Trial Lawyers for a free consultation to determine your legal options. If you are a resident of El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Playa Del Rey, or other neighborhoods near Dockweiler State Beach on the Santa Monica Bay, find out now if you can receive compensation.

Will there be fines or a sewage spill lawsuit against Hyperion?

If Hyperion is found to have continued operating at a limited capacity after the spill, there will likely be fines issued. Furthermore, ensuing investigations could lead to other legal ramifications for Hyperion if they are found to be liable for exposing the public to harmful levels of bacteria.

If you have been to Dockweiler State Beach, El Segundo Beach, or have swum in the Santa Monica Bay since July 11, 2021, or if you live in the neighborhoods of Playa Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, or LAX, and you have been negatively affected by the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant spill, the experienced attorneys at SSMS Trial Lawyers would like to offer you a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for damages or injuries.

Contact Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott for a Free Case Evaluation



If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of a defective or dangerous product or toxic substance, Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott is here to guide you. The firm’s California mass tort lawyers have extensive experience with mass torts and are available for a free case evaluation today.