Advocacy group sues city over sewer spillsBy Joshua Melvin
The city's leaky pipes have caused at least 58 sewage spills into the Bay that have endangered human and animal life, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court.
Advocacy group San Francisco Baykeeper is seeking an order from the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to force San Bruno to stop the leaks. The suit asks that the city be fined as much as $40,000 for each day the city has violated clean water rules from December 2004 to January 2009.
The filing comes a week after the California Regional Water Quality Control Board threatened the city with a $630,000 fine for spilling nearly 1.9 million gallons of sewage into the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The agency's board of directors is slated to meet in May to decide whether that fine - or a different amount - should be imposed, officials said.
In a written statement Tuesday, City Manager Connie Jackson said that San Bruno has established an aggressive program to upgrade and rehabilitate its aging sewer system, which is 50 to 100 years old. The city plans to spend $64 million over the next 10 years in upgrades. The city's 13,000 ratepayers will cover the cost of the projects through higher fees.
"Baykeeper's lawsuit against the city of San Bruno takes money away from an already tight budget," Jackson said.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo County Times. Published 02/23/2010.