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Hyperion's History

In the late 1800s, wastewater from Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles was conveyed through natural waterways to the ocean. In 1892, the City purchased 200 acres of oceanfront property and from 1894 until 1925, raw sewage was discharged into near-shore ocean waters at Hyperion's future location.

Visitors to local beaches objected to raw sewage in their recreational waters and in response, the City of Los Angeles built and started operating the first treatment facility at the Hyperion site in 1925: a simple screening plant. This plant remained in operation until 1950.
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1950 - A New Full Secondary Treatment Plant


hyperion history 2The screening plant was not effective in preventing beach closures; highly polluted wastewater was still being discharged into near-shore waters.

Just after the end of World War II, the City began to develop plans for a full secondary treatment plant at the Hyperion site. When the new Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant opened in 1950, it included a full secondary treatment system and biosolids processing to produce a heat-dried fertilizer. It was among the first facilities in the world to capture energy from biogas by operating anaerobic digesters, which have yielded a fuel gas by-product for over 50 years. At the time, Hyperion was the first large secondary treatment plant on the West Coast and one of the most modern facilities in the world.



Population Explosion


In the 1950s, the population of Los Angeles grew dramatically. To keep up with this growth and the associated high wastewater flows, Hyperion's treatment levels were cut back. By 1957, the new plant was discharging a blend of primary and secondary effluent through a five-mile ocean outfal. Hyperion also stopped its biosolids-to-fertilizer program and began discharging digested sludge into Santa Monica Bay through a separate, seven-mile ocean outfall.

1990s - Full Secondary System Rebuilt


In the 1950s, the population of Los Angeles grew dramatically. To keep up with this growth and the associated higher wastewater flows, Hyperion's treatment levels were cut back. By 1957, the new plant was discharging a blend of secondary and primary effluent through a five-mile ocean outfall. Hyperion also stopped its biosolids-to-fertilizer program and began discharging digested sludge into Santa Monica Bay through a separate, seven-mile ocean outfall.

Today, further improvements at Hyperion are being planned and built to keep the plant on the leading edge of environmental protection. For example, the Digester Gas Utilization Project (DGUP) will reduce the environmental impacts of power and steam generation and utilize HWRP's digester gas for renewable energy generation. More about DGUP