- El Monte, CA
- Site Type:
- Sanitation and Water Disposal, Infrastructure and Utilities
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works Administration (PWA), Public Works Funding
- Quality of Information:
- Site Survival:
The Public Works Administration (PWA) constructed a sewage disposal plant in El Monte, CA.
In 1935, the Department of the Interior’s newly created Department of Subsistence Homesteads (DSH) established a community of 100 “small farms” and “rurban homes” in El Monte. “As a result, so much interest was aroused in the development of subsistence farms that approximately 2,000 acres of farmland was subdivided and settled by residents of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, who built their homes along the banks of the Rio Hondo River which was badly polluted by the existing El Monte sewage system. To overcome this condition, which was a serious menace to the health of the community, the new disposal plant was constructed which consists of a primary clarifier, a trickling filter, two digestion tanks, and a sludge bed. The efficiency of the plant is high, and the effluent now emptying into the Rio Hondo River is clear and odorless” (Short & Stanley-Brown, Public Buildings).
According to his daughter, JoAnn Ells Ebele, El Monte’s Depression-era City Engineer Joseph C. Ells traveled to Washington, D.C., to secure the approval of several city projects—including the community building, library, and a sewer line and sewer plant—that he would go on to supervise.
C. W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown, Public Buildings: Architecture Under the Public Works Administration, 1933 to 1939 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1939).
Site originally submitted by Shaina Potts on April 24, 2010.
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