Water Board requests $633,600 fine against San BrunoBy Staff
The City of San Bruno (City) faces a $633,600 fine from the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) for illegal sewage discharges totaling 1.9 million gallons from the City's sanitary sewer collection system at various locations.
The City had 148 spills of raw sewage and raw sewage diluted with storm water, between December 1, 2004, and December 31, 2009, into either ground waters or the City's storm drains, which ultimately flow into the Pacific Ocean and Lower San Francisco Bay.
Seven of the 148 spills occurred during heavy rains in January 2008 and resulted in the discharge of 1.6 million gallons of raw sewage diluted with storm water. These spills occurred when high inflow and infiltration of storm water into the collection system generated more wastewater than the City's collection system capacity. The remaining spills were primarily caused by (1) pipeline failure due to aging and deteriorating infrastructure, (2) contractor error, and (3) blockages due to roots and debris and the build-up of fats, oils, and grease in the pipelines.
The City has a prior history of sewage spills. In 1997, the Regional Water Board adopted an order which required the City to (1) cease and desist discharging sewage from its collection system, (2) identify sources of inflow and infiltration of storm water and groundwater into its collection system, and (3) identify and implement infrastructure improvements to the City's collection system in order to eliminate sewage spills.
To comply with Regional Water Board order requirements, the City implemented several collection system corrective actions. These actions, however, were less than the recommended actions identified in the City's sewer collection system planning documents. Had the City initiated more aggressive and timely corrective actions, it could have mitigated or avoided: (1) the collection system overloading (exceeding capacity) and the resultant spills during wet weather; and (2) the collection system blockages and the resultant spills.
For additional information, please visit www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay
Copyright ©2010 California Regional Water Quality Control Board. Published 02/17/2010.