North Attleborough Fined for Wastewater Violations at Public Works Facility

Aug. 16, 2005

The Town of North Attleborough, Mass. will pay a penalty of $8,000 to resolve violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The administrative enforcement action stems from improper discharges at the Town’s Dept. of Public Works facility where municipal vehicles were washed.

The violations involve North Attleborough’s failure to attain required permits for wastewater discharges to its storm water collection system and ultimately to the Ten Mile River associated with the town’s practice of washing municipal vehicles outside of its public works garage. These actions resulted in the discharge of oil and grease, surfactants, solids and other pollutants that are commonly contained in vehicle wash waters. The violations occurred at the Town’s public works facility, located at 240 Smith Street in North Attleborough.

In early 2002, the Town disclosed to EPA violations of clean water and hazardous waste laws, including that it regularly washed the Town’s fleet of vehicles outdoors near an off-site catch basin, despite not having the necessary permit (called a "NPDES" permit) for such wastewater discharges. These discharges led to the Ten Mile River.

Following its disclosure to EPA, the Town reduced the level of vehicle washing; however, it continued to rinse eight truck sanders until mid-2004, a practice that also was not permitted. By Dec. 2004, the Town completed constructing and began using a vehicle wash pad, which includes redirecting the vehicle wash water through an oil-grit separator to an existing sanitary sewer line.

Source: EPA