to Resolve Federal Clean Water Act Violations
February 01, 2007
The City of Ketchikan owns and operates a wastewater treatment facility that discharges treated wastewater into the Tongass Narrows. The wastewater treatment plant is part of a sanitary sewer system that receives domestic wastewater from residential and commercial sources. The City's wastewater treatment facility serves a population of approximately 8,000.
According to the EPA, the discharge from the City of Ketchikan's facility exceeded the fecal coliform bacteria, copper, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), pH and total residual chlorine effluent limits on numerous occasions. The effluent limits are set fourth in the City of Ketchikan's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
"It's our job to ensure protection of water quality in Alaska," said Marcia Combes, Alaska Operations Office Director for EPA. "That's why we make sure that cities like Ketchikan are following the requirements set forth by their discharge permit. We're happy to see that the City is making strides to upgrade their facility."
Between June 2001 and December 2005, Ketchikan's wastewater treatment facility had 861 effluent limit violations according to the EPA. 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.
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