In this week's water and wastewater news, the owner of a Texas-based septic pumping company claims he wasn't allowed to dump waste as often as white-owned companies; and San Diego is one step closer to recycling wastewater for potable use
A local septic pumper is suing the city of Taylor, Texas, for racial discrimination because he allegedly wasn’t allowed to dump waste at the city’s facility as often as companies owned by white people.
Jacky Jones, owner of JJ Septic Services, says his problems started in early 2013 when he tried dumping waste at the Mustang Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, often used by licensed companies like his.
According to the lawsuit, the three city employees in charge were “highly aggressive, verbally abusive and unprofessional” in their interactions with Jones. The charge states that the facility limited Jones’ access to once per week, but that they allowed other companies — licensed or not — to empty waste without restriction.
“Over the course of a two and one half year period, Jones was allowed to dump only 36 times, while his fellow Taylor-based businesses, including Amanda’s Port-o-Potties, dumped approximately 500 times, and B&L Toilets approximately 485 times,” the lawsuit says, according to Taylor Press.
Jones is seeking equal access to the plant and $241,740 in lost-business damages.
Source: Taylor Press
Pure Water Program in San Diego Makes Progress
San Diego’s $3 billion indirect potable reuse plan is closer to reality after the city’s Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a modified permit for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Supporters of the Pure Water program say that recycled water could make up one-third of San Diego’s supply sometime in the next 18 years.
“Our plan to create a sustainable, local water supply through water purification will protect our ocean and help San Diego continue to meet clean water standards,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the Times of San Diego. “This is another important step to eventually reducing San Diego’s reliance on costly imported water once we implement our Pure Water program.”
The goal is to deliver 30 mgd of recycled water per day in the next five years. The California Coastal Commission will have the final say in the regulatory process.
Source: Times of San Diego
Massachusetts City Mayor Meets Trump Administration Officials in Fight Against EPA Mandate
Taunton, Massachusetts, Mayor Thomas Hoye recently met with officials from the Trump administration in Washington, D.C. to fight an Environmental Protection Agency mandate the city says is too strict.
The mayor argues that the city may have to spend an extra $25 million to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to comply with the EPA. In 2004, the agency mandated that the city get rid of all its combined sewer overflow into the Taunton River.
While the original order came with a 2013 deadline, the EPA has extended it.
An engineer working for the city told the Taunton Daily Gazette that the EPA was basing its decision on a checklist, adding that the EPA said its incapable of “running statistically robust or defensible analysis” specific to the area.
Source: Taunton Daily Gazette
California Waste Hauler Faces Prison Time for Illegal Dumping
A wastewater hauler in Santa Fe Springs, California, pled guilty to a felony charge of water pollution and faces up to three years in prison for dumping wastewater and soap into an area stream.
David Lee Flury dumped large quantities of waste into a tributary of the San Gabriel River, which the city spent nearly $750,000 cleaning up.
The charges allege that Flury fraudulently claimed he was dumping his customers’ waste at a licensed facility, and that he made $350,000 off of 17 customers in this manner.
Source: Whittier Daily News