Water board slaps Morro Bay with multiple notices of violation

January 31, 2022

By KAREN VELIE

The City of Morro Bay has received several notices of violations for failing to abide by pollutant discharge requirements at the city’s water reclamation facility construction site.

The city failed to “to implement effective erosion and sediment controls,” and “to implement linear sediment controls,” according to a complaint from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. As a result, the water board has slapped Morro Bay with four violations over the past three months.

In late October, regulators inspected the construction site before sending the city a Nov. 8 notices that included two violations. Water board staff informed city officials they were in violation of permit requirements to implement effective soil cover and to implement linear sediment control.

Even though the notice of violation threatened fines of $10,000 or more a day, city staff failed to properly remedy the issues.

Penalties for violating the California Water Code include “administrative civil liability for up to $10,000 per day for each violation” according to the notice of violation. “Alternatively, a court may impose civil liability of up to $25,000 for each day the violation occurs.”

Central Coast Water Board staff performed a follow-up inspection on Dec. 10 at the approximately 17-acre project site located at the intersection of Teresa Road and South Bay Boulevard.

After determining Morro Bay officials had failed to remedy the issues in the previous notice of violation, the water board sent the city a second notice of violation on Dec. 20. The water board listed two violations: “continued failure to implement effective soil cover” and “continued failure to implement appropriate erosion control.”

During their most recent site visit, water board investigators determined the city was at that time abiding by its permit pollutant discharge requirements. Inspectors plan to continue monitoring the site.


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Zoiebowie

Start pooping in a bucket and find a way to dispose of it.

I’m thankful for a modern sewer system. Sorry fishes.


lookout

You won’t have any sewer service after the next significant earthquake if this corrupt and seriously-flawed project continues. Pumping sewage 3 miles uphill in earthquake country … an unbelievably dumb idea.


You won’t have any sewer service when ocean flooding hits the pumping station that’s supposed to push the sewage uphill. They put it in the same flood zone as the existing plant. In fact, it’s on the existing plant property. This means that building the fancy new plant gains you nothing. The project was supposed to move wastewater treatment infrastructure out of harm’s way. It totally fails to do that.


They say they put the vulnerable electrical parts of the pump station a couple of feet above FEMA flood levels. The problem is that they used a FEMA flood map done BEFORE local maps could be updated by FEMA’s current, ongoing project to upgrade its flood level specifications. Not so long ago, FEMA recognized that its maps didn’t properly account for ocean flooding. It is working diligently to fix that, but they hadn’t gotten to Morro Bay yet when the WRF pump station was constructed.


So, the pump station floods, the power goes out, and the sewage can’t get to the new plant. It gets to the current plant via a gravity system.


To sum it up the WRF project gives Morro Bay absolutely no benefits. It just gives residents a new set of problems AND a huge bill for taxpayers.


kevin rise

I hear alot of cries about the estuary. The primary threats to the estuary deal with industrial runoff, the prison too constantly spilling crap but, ie, herbicides, pesticides and fertalize from farming on the 1 that leaches into the water causing increase in nitrogen etc. The sewer project is so secondary realistically; not speaking politically here or economically, but a drop in the bucket compared to these commonly used carsinogens, like Raid and Roundup and Miracle Grow. 1ppm of Sunscreen also is as toxic as an oil spill in regard to toxicity, like Hawaii’s reef. Why is the Great Barrier almost dead; farm run off/sunscreen/carcinogens; a fact.


lookout

Seriously? Even if the present runoff into the Estuary were not a problem (which it IS), what do you think is going to happen once the plant starts operating – with the same total disregard for the environment as has been shown so far? These people clearly care about only one thing – money – and unless stopped will continue to wreak havoc with this disastrous project.


Do you have any idea what kind of chemicals are used in sewer plant operation? Do you have any idea what those chemicals and sewage spills will do to the Estuary?


The utter negligence, disregard for the Estuary, and disregard for the law shown so far clearly demonstrate that this corrupt project is a disaster that is only going to get worse.


Are there going to be chemical and sewage spills? You bet there are – and not just in the case of normal operations. That facility is being built on a site that is described in City and County documents as a landslide area. Expert geologists hired by the contractors (in a report that was never shared with the public) said:


“This rock mass does not conform to the standard “rules for geologic structure and relationships and is known to be prone to both shallow soil slips and larger rotational landslides”

and

“The complex history of this formation has created a rock mass with blocks of relatively undeformed rocks separated by sheared and crushed zones with somewhat random occurrence and orientations. This rock mass does not conform to the standard “rules” for geologic structure and relationships.”


The site also happens to be in earthquake country.


So, the Estuary will be destroyed, but that isn’t all. When the sewage can’t get to the plant because the earthquake broke the pipeline, where will all that sewage go?


kevin rise

Agreed. They did put in Diablo on that double fault line too and store the rods there so. Sorry for Morro bay and it’s ecology losses. At least people are voicing concerns and keep up reporting issues related to it.