Nestled between the crashing waves of the Pacific and the sprawling city of Los Angeles, the Hyperion wastewater treatment plant has served residents for more than a century. In operation since 1894, the plant has evolved to become a modern infrastructure marvel. Originally the plant collected sewage from the city and deposited it in the Santa Monica Bay, destroying most of the marine life in the area. These practices led L.A. to start a program in 1980 to heal the bay, in which the Hyperion plant also played a role. Today, thanks to cutting-edge water treatment technology, water returned to the ocean is 95 percent free of biosolids. The biosolids extracted also help power the facility.

Photo courtesy of California State University, Long Beach