Los Angeles has reached the end of its 10-year agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the number of sewer backups in the city, city officials announce Wednesday.

The settlement agreement stemmed from a 1998 rain that resulted in a large number of sanitation waste overflows after storm drains and sewers flooded.

The 2004 agreement was struck after the city was sued by Los Angeles Waterkeeper, the EPA, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and South Los Angeles community groups.

Since then, the city has upgraded its infrastructure and reduced sewer spills by 80 percent, EPA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfield said.

The number of overflows fell from 687 in the 2000-2001 fiscal year to 145 in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

“These great strides taken over the course of this agreement will protect Angelenos including swimmers and surfers that enjoy our local waters,” Blumenfield said.

City News Service

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