Pumping Up Security for Westside Storm Drains


Station #3 after its November completion. Photos by Long Beach Development Services

The Westside has been in need of a renovated storm drain system for years, with many Westside businesses severely impacted by flooding during rainy seasons. It takes three pump stations (one on the Westside and two within Port jurisdiction) and a labyrinth of underground pipes working in harmony to abate the problem.

On March 3, 2013, vandals stripped the copper wiring from Pump Station #12, located south of Anaheim and within the Port. The crime at Pump Station #12 rendered the pump out-of-service temporarily, leaving the Westside vulnerable, as this station ushers water from PCH to Judson, directly affecting the neighborhood.

According to Public Works Inspector Renee Bracamontes, the criminals came in pursuit of copper wiring, but in their zeal to extricate the goods, they dismantled all working elements surrounded that wiring, leaving the station in shambles. He explained that there are no security cameras at Pump Station #12 but there is an alarm. However, the alarm was disarmed directly prior to the theft.

Storm Drain Map

Bracamontes confirmed that the station is once again functioning properly, though some aspects of the automated system are still being run manually in the aftermath of the incident. He adds that the entire system will be fixed and working solely through automation in short order, perhaps as soon the publication of this post.

Another Westside pump—the freshly refurbished Station #3—was completed and fully functional in November 2012. The neighborhood that worked so doggedly to move forward the Westside Storm Drain Project was delighted with the successful completion of the station, but still concerned for its safety, mainly because copper theft is a major problem throughout the industrial area and city-at-large, according to West Division Police Officer Jose Flores.

Station3NowReinforcedThe Long Beach Police Department West Division reports that copper theft is an increasing threat in these difficult economic times, and pump stations are an enticing target. Once the new Westside station was made operational, the security of that station became paramount.

To that end, the Westside Project Area Council turned to the City and asked for a couple of things: surveillance cameras and a blockade-like reinforcement of the entrance.

Because of the Westsiders concerns, the City implemented security measures to Station #3, with cameras in place and running 24/7, a security gate covering the roll-up door, and the bollards at the station’s entrance being reinforced, in addition to the security lighting, which was already in place.

Last photo: The now-reinforced Storm Drain Pump Station #3

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