Shasta County agrees to settlement for sewage spill

By on November 28, 2020

The Shasta County Department of Public Works has agreed to a $517,760 fine to settle a case involving an overflow from their sanitary sewer collection system and violations of effluent limitations at their wastewater treatment plant.

The 465,227-gallon overflow occurred in early February of 2019 in an area known as Shasta County Service Area #17 (CSA #17). It was caused by pump failure at the collection system’s main lift station. The overflow occurred at both the main lift station and at an upstream manhole located adjacent to a stormwater drainage ditch which drains to Cottonwood Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River.

Under the terms of the settlement, the department will satisfy $60,000 of the liability by completing an Enhanced Compliance Action to replace a deficient pipeline and raise manholes in the CSA #17 that contribute infiltration and inflow to the sanitary sewer collection system; this will increase system capacity and reduce the likelihood of future sanitary sewer overflows.

Shasta County violated effluent limitations outlined in their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for pH, total coliform organisms, total chlorine residual and other disinfection byproducts, copper, zinc, biochemical oxygen demand, and ammonia from December 2013 through May 2020.

Under the terms of the settlement, county will satisfy $282,000 of the fine by retrofitting the existing filter at the wastewater treatment plant. This will help maximize the useful life of the treatment plant’s filter while minimizing future effluent limit violations.

Additionally, the county will pay $175,760 to the state’s Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account.