Jan 07, 2008

Idaho City to Pay $10,000 for Clean Water Act Violations

Violations occurred between January 2002 and April 2006

The city of Ashton, Idaho, has reached a $10,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for alleged Clean Water Act violations at the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The city owns and operates the permitted facility that discharges treated wastewater into an unnamed perennial stream that is a tributary to Spring Creek. These water bodies are part of the Henry’s Fork River watershed.

Between January 2002 and April 2006, the facility had numerous effluent limit violations. Permit violations occurred when the discharge from the city’s facility exceeded limits set for fecal coliform bacteria, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), E. coli, pH and total residual chlorine.

According to Idaho Operations Office Director for EPA James Werntz, wastewater treatment plants can degrade Idaho’s water quality if permits limits are exceeded.

“Cities like Ashton provide a valuable service to their community by treating wastewater, but they need to strictly follow their permit limits,” Werntz said. “Otherwise rivers like the Henry’s Fork can be needlessly harmed by pollutants.”

The city’s facility is part of a sanitary sewer system that receives domestic wastewater from residential and commercial sources. The facility serves a community of approximately 1,100 people.

The NPDES permit program, a key part of the federal Clean Water Act, controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters in the United States.