Asbestos was discovered at the Ira J. Chrisman Wind Gap Pumping Plant, which pushes water from Kern County over the Grapevine and into Los Angeles, officials said.
The plant pushes water from Kern County over the Grapevine and into Los Angeles.
Officials said the asbestos was discovered as a worker did routine maintenance at the plant, but officials said there was never any danger either to the public or water safety.
"We were doing some maintenance to one of our large pumping units and while we were disassembling some piping, an employee became aware that he may have disturbed some asbestos," Field Division Chief Jeff Said said.
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Plant officials said they immediately took steps to make sure everyone was safe.
"We shut down the facility that he was working sent him in to be tested," Said said.
Now officials are trying to figure out how widespread asbestos is at the facility and how to clean it up.
"We brought in an industrial hygienist and tested the area which came back positive for some asbestos material," Said told 23ABC.
Signs on the building now warn people to stay out unless they are in full protective gear.
"We decided to get everybody out of the plant and post it to where no one goes in without the proper personal protective equipment, respirators, Tyvek suits etc," Said said.
Officials said about 20 to 30 people work inside the contaminated building but not all of them were necessarily exposed to the asbestos.
"Anybody that was in that plant at that period of time feels that they want to be tested for any exposure can be," Said said.
State water officials said there was never any danger to the public or the water supply and they said the incident never affected how much water was being pumped to the Los Angeles area.
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