L.A. sanitation staff commended for rapid response to public safety and health needs

Sanitation workers from the Department of Public Works Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant recently were commended for their actions during rainstorm.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 26, 2001 — Sanitation workers from the Department of Public Works Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant (LAGWRP) recently were commended for their personal commitment to public health and safety, said Larry Miller, LAGWRP Plant Manager.

During a major late night rainstorm in January, a 4,000- volt electrical distribution system feeder failed at LAGWRP, placing the plant in danger of an interruption to the wastewater treatment process. The workers responded quickly to resolve the problem and continued working well into the next day. Sanitation's Wastewater Collections Division provided a back up emergency power generator to help out and kept it re-fueled during the entire event, Miller noted.

"It was just like on TV where the lights are out, raining like heck, and there's smoke pouring out of a high voltage vault in the street," said Miller. "It was an awesome experience. I was here for most of it and I am real proud of the guys." Miller said the key to their success was great teamwork, dedication and training.

Don Balster, David Bianchi, Paul Wautlet, Gayland Pfister, Mike Alvarado, Olu Fayehun, Mark Foley, Hector Serenil, Jon Stillman, John Glover, Mark Bodeen, Ken Hasan, Ernie Manacop, Tony Rossitto, Thai Trinh, Rod Johnson, and Ken Smith were commended. Their actions allowed the plant to continue service and meet its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements during recent wet weather rainstorms.

During heavy rainfall periods in January and February parts of the City was drenched with more than 3.5 inches of rain. Storm events in January alone brought the City the wettest storm since the 1998 record-setting El Nino storms. During this period the City received more than 11 inches of rain, equivalent to twice or normal rainfall for this time of year.

Department of Public Works operations and maintenance crews prepared for theses extraordinary, intense and heavy rainfall conditions well in advance and facilities responded to the harsh winter storms without any wet-weather related sewage overflows.

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