County officials say foul odor around Carson is fading

Dominguez Channel
Oct. 21, 2021: The L.A. County Department of Public Works shared this image of the ongoing work to improve the odor coming from the Dominguez Channel in Carson. Engineers installed an aeration system to increase dissolved oxygen in the water and stop bacteria from releasing sulphur-smelling biogas. Photo credit L.A. County Department of Public Works

Los Angeles County officials are once again addressing a foul odor lingering over the city of Carson and surrounding communities, more than 14 days after the odor was first reported by residents.

Officials have said the rotten egg-like odor is being caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas in the Dominguez Channel, is not detrimental to the health of the public — though it may cause symptoms like headaches and nausea.

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Last week county officials detailed several plans they have put in place to address the odor, but so far it has still not been cleared up.

"The County is working around the clock to alleviate the source of the smell and provide [the public] with relief from it's affects," Mark Pestrella, L.A. Public Works director said Friday in a county update.

He added that recent reports from the South Coast Air Quality Management District show a vast improvement in gas levels.

"AQMD's overnight reports are showing drastic reductions in gas readings — the lowest levels since the incident began," Pestrella said. "We're making progress and moving the needle on all fronts.

On Friday, the Departments of Public Works and Public Health, along with SCAQMD South Coast Air Quality Management District shared updates on the odor response and shared several plans for resident reimbursement.

To date, the L.A. Department of Public Health has visited more than 7,000 homes, nearly 200 businesses, and almost all of the schools in the that filed complaints about the odor, the department said Friday.

While contact with hydrogen sulfide may cause short-term symptoms like headaches, nausea, and coughing, the L.A. Department of Health said it does not expect anyone to suffer long-term health issues related to the Dominguez Channel incident.

Carson Water Supply
Carson city officials shared an update with residents this week, informing them that the water supply in the city has not been affected by the channel odor.

"California Water Service treats the water and tests it before it reaches the tap to ensure that it meets all federal and sate water quality standards," the city said in a statement, adding that recent tests have shown no elevated levels of odor in the water.

In regards to recent reports of discolored water coming from bathtubs and toilets, the city said its sewer lines have no connection to the Dominguez Channel or the odor incident, but have asked residents to call 800-675-4357 to report such instances.

Getting Dominguez Channel-Related Reimbursements from L.A. County
To date, the county has put 26 households into three hotels, and will extend those stays as the odor continues, Pestrella said. In all they have responded to 1,749 calls to the 2-1-1 Call Center, 1,000 calls to Public Works and 1,157 visits to the Carson Community Center.

In addition, Pestrella said 2,930 reimbursement requests have been filed and the county has approved 857 of them.

"At this point we are now able to take a call and within 24 hours give a response back to the applicant seeking reimbursement to tell them if what they've purchased is something we can pay for," Pestrella said.

For in-person assistance, residents can visit the Carson Community Center from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven days a week at 801 E. Carson Street in Carson.
To report odors, call 800-288-7664 or visit www.aqmd.gov/home/air-quality/complaints.

To visit the county's page with all of the information regarding the Dominguez Channel inicdent, click here.