Regional water board fines Paso Robles $495,000

January 24, 2017

PASO ROBLES BRICK SIGNThe Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board levied a $495,000 fine Friday against the city of Paso Robles for discharging treated sewage with excessive levels of pollutants into the Salinas River. The violations occurred over a span of nearly three years while the city was upgrading its wastewater treatment plant.

Paso Robles has a federal permit that authorizes the city to discharge treated sewage into the Salinas River. From Oct. 3, 2013 through June 27, 2016, the city city dumped various pollutants into the river that exceeded levels allowed under the permit.

California Water Code mandates that the water board issue minimum fines of $3,000 per violation committed by the city. However, a portion of the money the city owes can be diverted to environmental projects that enhance public use of state water.

Water board and city officials reached an agreement to direct $255,000 to environmental projects in the Paso Robles groundwater basin. Those projects may include groundwater sampling, supporting sustainable groundwater management efforts or assisting disadvantaged communities with their efforts to resolve drinking water issues.

The remaining $240,000 of the fine will go to a cleanup and abatement account.

Regional Water Board Chairman Jean-Pierre Wolff said both his agency and the city desire that the pollution of the Salinas River will be offset by improving the sustainable use of the groundwater basin.

“Ensuring adequate treatment and control of wastewater discharges to our surface waters is a key component of the board’s responsibility to protect water quality,” Wolff said. “While the city has experienced a very difficult time in complying with its permit’s protective standards, it has also turned a significant corner by upgrading its treatment plant to reduce violations and put the city on a path towards exemplary performance.

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Atascaderos water treatment plant is on the atascadero creeks edge , atascadero creek is connected to the salinas river , atas lake and then continues into morro bay

So we have sewage spreadage everwhere you look !!!!!!!!!!

There has been a pipe behind paso treatment plant for at least 25 years now that i can remember seeing , its use is for dumping from the plant into the salinas river . In pacifica ca which was the last city to stop dumping untreated sewage into ocean just past breakers they stooped in 2003 . As a kid i always wondered what that big pipe under all our piers throughout ca were used for till i googled it last year and wiki it . There quite a few drinkuing water wells which supply santa margarita , atas, temp, paso , san miguel etc all of which are located in the salinas river bed , 1 is about 1/8 mile from paso water treatment plant , you can see all of this if you ride an atv from margarita lake to san miguel which we did when was growing up in slo county