The Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles is the largest waste water treatment plant west of the Mississippi, processing 280 million gallons of waste water per day. The entire treatment plant is 140 acres–that’s bigger than Disneyland! The plant has the highest diversion rate among most popular U.S. cities, at 76%, but they plan to increase this rate to 90% by 2025.
We were able to take a tour of the plant’s Environmental Learning Center, a new educational campus that opened in 2013. The ELC is 20,000 sq. ft. and features three floors of interactive learning displays and activities, including a “Green Roof” and a Wetlands area. (See photos below)
The ELC is free and open to the public. It’s a great resource for school groups, community volunteer groups, environmental clubs, and just for anyone who ever wondered where their water goes after they turn off the faucet. For more info on the ELC, and to plan your own tour of the facility, visit their website.
The Green Roof features low-maintenance succulents grown with recycled water, solar panels, skylights and a wind turbine, all designed to keep the ELC’s energy costs low.
View of the Pacific Ocean from the roof of the ELC.
On the second floor, there are many interactive displays to encourage kids to know what to recycle, where, and how. There are sections on electronic waste, household hazardous waste, green waste, and even bottle and can recycling.
On the first floor, the “Water’s Many L.A. Ways” exhibit highlights both stormwater recycling and wastewater recycling, teaching us how the water we use everyday gets treated, cleaned, reused and recycled at Hyperion.
This section features a life-sized sewer pipe, the kind through which LA’s waste water flows everyday. It’s huge!
Outside, the campus has a Wetlands area, which uses the wastewater recycled at the plant to create a habitat for surrounding wildlife.
To schedule your own FREE visit to the Hyperion Treatment Plant Environmental Learning Center, contact them at (310) 648-5363, via email, or at their website.