In this week's news briefs, a wastewater treatment plant operator in Pennsylvania pleads guilty to violating the Clean Water Act; a New Mexico utility is ordered to pay a $1 million fine; a series of projects near Los Angeles will treat 5.3 billion gallons of water per year; and a Tampa Bay wastewater leak puts a hold on swimming and fishing in Rocky Creek.


A wastewater treatment plant operator in Lake City, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act by submitting false reports and was sentenced to six months in prison followed by 12 months of house arrest.

Authorities say Mark Ventresca, 52, said he tampered with environmental records because he was overwhelmed and wanted to seem like he was doing a good job. He resigned in 2014.

By submitting a guilty plea, Ventresca admitted to not properly testing wastewater, dumping improperly treated wastewater into Elk Creek, and falsifying records to conceal his actions.

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Source: GoErie.com

New Mexico Utility to Pay $1 Million Fine

A utility near Farmington, New Mexico has been ordered to pay a $1 million fine for problems that have left many of its customers with a boil-water advisory for the past six months.

The company, AV Water, was ordered to immediately provide safe drinking water to all residents and has 30 days to pay the $1 million fine, according to a spokesperson from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

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Details from the New Mexico Environment Department show that the problems started in May, which is when the department received a number of customer complaints about water quality in the Bloomfield and Crouch Mesa areas.

Source: Albuquerque Journal

New Projects to Treat 5.3 Billion Gallons of Water Per Year in California

The Metropolitan Water District’s board of directors has approved financial incentives for four water recycling projects that will treat and deliver nearly 5.3 billion gallons of water per year to Los Angeles, Torrance and Perris, California.

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Metropolitan’s board authorized separate agreements with the city of Torrance and Eastern Municipal Water District for large-scale recycling projects and agreements for two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power projects. Metropolitan will provide as much as $44 million in incentives for the projects over the next 25 years, under the four agreements.

The agreements were the first to receive Metropolitan board approval since the district refined its Local Resources Program in 2014. The program, which has provided economic incentives for recycling and groundwater clean-up projects throughout Metropolitan’s six-county service area since 1982, was revised two years ago to include seawater desalination efforts.

Source: BusinessWire

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Failed Pipe Causes Wastewater Leak Near Tampa Bay 

More than 200,000 gallons of wastewater recently were leaked into Rocky Creek near Tampa Bay, Florida, making swimming and fishing in the area unsafe for a few days.

A contractor had been working to replace a valve and a piece of bypass piping failed, leaking wastewater into the creek for about three hours.

The broken line didn’t affect tap water for area residents, according to a Hillsborough County Public Utilities spill report.

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Source: Tampa Bay Times


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