By The Record
April 05, 2009

SACRAMENTO – State water officials have fined the city of Stockton $60,000 for violating wastewater quality standards at the city’s treatment plant, which discharges into the San Joaquin River.The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fine is for 20 alleged violations from 2000 through 2008, according to board documents.

For perspective, Mark Madison, director of Stockton’s Municipal Utilities Department, said Thursday that the city’s wastewater was tested about 40,000 times over those eight years. He said he believes the treatment plant is effective.

Also, Madison said, eight of the violations in question took place under the watch of OMI-Thames, the private company that operated Stockton’s water works for several years until 2007. Madison said the city would seek compensation from the company for those violations.

Oil and grease, coliform bacteria and ammonia were among the contaminants that exceeded standards, board documents show. Treated wastewater has been pinpointed as one cause for the decline of the Delta ecosystem.

Stockton is not alone in facing wastewater fines. In March, the board fined Tracy $78,000 and the Mountain House Community Services District $30,000 for violations.