Two people hugging at memorial with photo of deceased next to them | Still from SoCal Connected, "Who Killed Josiah?"

Treated Human Waste as Fertilizer?

When Angelenos flush their toilets, where does all that waste go?

Sewage sludge accumulated by more than four million residents in Los Angeles is extracted and treated at the Hyperion Treatment Plant, the city's largest and oldest wastewater treatment facility. There, human waste is processed and treated over the span of two weeks. In part, it entails screening for foreign objects, separating liquids from solids, and killing off pathogens at a specific temperature.

The goal: create biosolids for a variety of purposes, including fertilizer that's deemed safe under regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And approximately 75 percent of those biosolids -- that's 500 tons a day! -- are loaded on trucks headed to Kern County.

But not everyone is on board. In 2006, voters in Kern County passed a ballot measure intended to ban the process of depositing L.A.'s biosolids at the city of L.A.'s Green Acres Farm. But eight years later, the dumping debate still continues.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Derrick Shore delves into the process of where our waste goes and the controversies surrounding it.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Enrique C. Zaldivar, director, L.A. City Bureau of Sanitation
  • Diane Gilbert Jones, L.A. City Bureau of Sanitation
  • Blake Sanden, UC Co-op Extension farm advisor
  • Beau Antongiovanni, farmer
  • Larry Antongiovanni, farmer
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Who Killed Josiah?

A Humboldt town is polarized over allegations of racism and police incompetence surrounding the death of college student Josiah Lawson. 

  • 2019-11-13T21:00:00-08:00
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Born to Run

He was one of the greatest high school athletes of all time. What happened to LA’s Obea Moore?

  • 2019-11-19T12:00:00-08:00
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Access Denied

An investigation reveals how the state and many cities have let developers get away for decades with not paying their fair share when they replace affordable lodging with luxury hotels up and down California’s coast.

  • 2019-11-26T12:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-27T21:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-30T11:00:00-08:00
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Under Pressure

Parents are willing to spend thousands to get the competitive edge in the college admissions process, but at what cost? Socal Connected takes a revealing look at the high stakes world of the for-profit education consultant business.

  • 2019-12-10T12:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-12-10T16:00:00-08:00
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