Mar 22, 2007

California City Offers $2,000 for Information on Orange Goop

The city of Woodland, Calif., is offering $2,000 for any information on the source of a chemical found in the city’s Water Pollution Control Facility last month that lead to a violation of the Clean Water Act.

The substance was harmless to humans and wildlife, but caused monetary damage to the city’s sewer treatment operations.

According to the Sacramento Bee, last month the city discovered an orange-colored substance containing pulpy material in the wastewater it treats and releases into the Tule Canal. The unidentified substance led to the treated water showing a higher level of turbidity than allowed by the state.

The city has since had to increase its treatment process, and is now offering the award to find the party responsible for the contamination.

Chief Plant Operation Mark Hierholzer told the Sacramento Bee that he thinks that it is a business or industry that changed its operations in February and is not aware of the city’s local limits.

The city is currently collecting samples of wastewater at five separate sites to track the source of the orange substance.

In February, the facility reported to the Regional Water Quality Control Board that it exceeded the state turbidity levels for three days. The plant has since been in compliance. The WQCB could enforce a maximum fine of $10,000 per day or $10 per gallon of the total water treated and discharged in the canal.

The board also has the option not to impose any fine.