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The original item was published from 2/22/2017 11:59:12 AM to 3/31/2017 5:05:00 PM.

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Posted on: February 22, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Illegal draining of storm water

Stormwater drain

Residents illegally draining standing water off their properties into the sewer system are creating havoc within the Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) sewer collection and treatment systems. The recent string of storms has led to saturated ground and standing water. Bethel Island residents have been hit especially hard. Unfortunately, some residents have addressed this problem by removing their sewer clean out covers, and redirecting hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to enter into an already inundated sewer system.

District crews have also observed some residents connecting pumps to their private sewer laterals and pumping surface water off of their property into the sewer system. This illegal activity directly causes sewer overflows downstream at pump stations and within the sewer system. It also overloads the treatment facility, leading to water quality violations.

“Ironhouse does not run a combined sewer-storm system,” said Chad Davisson, ISD general manager. “This illegal activity of draining or pumping storm water into the sewer system has already led to sanitary sewer overflows, which the District has reported to the State of California Water Resources Control Board. It also leads to considerable added costs in overtime and energy consumption by pumping storm water from flooded properties.

ISD has strict rules against residents pumping storm water from flooded properties down into the sewer system, and there are strict penalties for violation. Violation of the Ordinance prohibiting pumping storm waters into the sewer system is a crime punishable by fines of $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail. Violations of the ordinance can, also, result in immediate disconnection of sewer service.

The District has issued several cease and desist notices to individuals who it has observed engaging in prohibited conduct. If the conduct continues, the District has an obligation to its rate payers to recover costs associated with these illegal discharge activities, and will pursue appropriate administrative and/or legal action.

“If the District’s treatment capacity is exceeded, inadequately treated waste could be discharged into the San Joaquin River, which can be a health and safety issue.” Davisson said.

Davisson asks that residents share this information with friends and neighbors to help prevent further costly and unhealthy sewer overflows on island neighborhoods. For more information, contact Ironhouse Sanitary District at (925) 625-2279.

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