May 07, 2007

Brand New Massachusetts Water Treatment Plant Cited for Violations

During the first two weeks of operation last month, the new $26 million wastewater treatment plant in Lawrence, Mass., was cited for violating state drinking water regulations.

According to The Eagle Tribune, mayor Michael Sullivan signed a consent order confirming that chlorine dioxide and chlorite, chemicals that are used for disinfection, were not tested to make sure that they meet the state required levels.

The plant just went into operation April 3 of this year.

The State Department of Environmental Protection also made note of leaks in the system, which aided in the chlorine levels dipping to below acceptable levels at the new plant, and at the old plant. The city was fined $6,000 for the violations and agreed to suspend payment if there are no further violations during the order.

If the city violates the conditions, then the city will pay the fine and will be responsible to daily penalties of anywhere form $500 to $1,000.

The violations were discovered by the DEP during an investigation into allegations that the water plant employees were falsifying records and tampering with equipment.

When signing the consent order, the city did not admit nor deny allegations.

The construction of the new plant began after a federal consent order for the city to meet water quality standards.

The Eagle Tribune reports that March 199, a federal grand jury indicted the city’s former water chief on charges that he faked test results of the city’s water quality. The chief pleaded guilty and received two years of probation.