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Climate and Environment

Baby Wipes, Toilet Paper And Feces: The Carson Raw Sewage Spill Left Residents Feeling Sick

The sewage spill floods the street and sidewalk. The sewage is brown and cloudy against a street lamp light.
The spill was first discovered on Dec. 30 around 5 p.m. and halted by 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
(Courtesy Cesar Casillas)
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As Cesar Casillas was coming home last Thursday to his Carson house, he noticed water spilling onto his street. At first, he thought it was rainwater. But then, the smell was unmistakable.

“It was horrendous,” said Casillas, who lives on 212th street. “You got that distinct odor of raw sewage. I thought ‘Oh no. This is not good.'”

He took a closer look at the water flowing down the street in front of his house.

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“It was brown, murky, it was not crystal clear. And you could see actual baby wipes, toilet paper, feces,” Casillas said.

He said the county sanitation department came to wash their driveways over the last few days, and will come back to replace some of the landscaping and wash residents’ cars.

The experience has left Casillas worrying if something like this might happen again. The manhole spilled sewage about five years ago.

“That's my worry that if we get a heavy downpour again, and they're not up to date with their infrastructure, it could be worse,” Casillas said.

Najah Najiy, Casillas’ next door neighbor, said she worries about her property value.

“I just felt sick all over. It was such a bad experience,” said Najiy, who’s lived in the house since 1994. "It was very strong. ”
She was returning home from celebrating a Kwanzaa event on Friday night when the smell hit her.

“The smell of raw sewage that night was reeking in my car and the windows were up,” she said. “And so when I drove in, like in my driveway, I came into my house. And that's when the smell was all in my house. Can you imagine that? Poop smell all in my house.”

Najiy said she’s asked the county to wash the bottom of her car, where the sewage spill touched.

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Bryan Langpap, a spokesperson with the L.A. County Sanitation Districts said the county has gone door-to-door to offer help to residents, handing out claim forms so that residents can get reimbursements.

“Any sort of damage or harm that was related to our spill, we’re going to respond to that,” he said.

Langlap said the county is offering car washes and replacing the grass between the sidewalk and the street.

Anyone in need of assistance can contact 562-325-7329 or

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