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CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

City of Wooster to Address Violations of Clean Water Act at City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant

In a settlement with Ohio EPA, the city of Wooster agreed to initiate operational changes and upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. The city also will pay a $10,000 penalty for repeatedly violating the Clean Water Act.

Between February 2006 and June 2010, the wastewater treatment plant’s discharge to Killbuck Creek frequently exceeded permitted effluent limits. The severity and frequency of effluent violations put the facility in significant noncompliance for five years. In addition, between September 2005 and October 2008, plant personnel repeatedly failed to complete required effluent sampling.

As part of the settlement, the city submitted to Ohio EPA a formal evaluation of the wastewater treatment plant’s hydraulic design and organic loading capabilities. Ohio EPA is reviewing the report and will recommend operational changes aimed at optimizing the plant’s performance. The city will make upgrades to the plant, where necessary, to comply with the Clean Water Act.

The city’s ability to maintain consistent compliance with permit limits has been hampered by high-flow events in portions of its collection system and high-strength wastewater from industrial users of the system. To address these concerns, the city also will develop and implement a capacity, management, operation and maintenance program for all parts of the collection system.

The $10,000 penalty includes $4,000 to support Ohio EPA surface water programs, $4,000 for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund and $2,000 for Ohio EPA’s clean diesel school bus program.

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