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Violations Lead to Reno Wastewater Code Changes

Ky Plaskon/Capital Public Radio
 

Ky Plaskon/Capital Public Radio

The City of Reno has issued a report finding significant violations of wastewater discharge rules over the past year. In one case, the discharge was three times the legal limit.

Reno Environmental Services Supervisor, Ryan Bird looks in a sewer manhole for problems. Wastewater discharges triggered a federal requirement to notify the public this month. Three industrial businesses were found to be in “significant non-compliance” for release of 9 contaminants.

In one case, a linen company recorded repeat offenses that included double and triple the legal limit. But Bird says fines were not issued.

“The consequences weren’t very spelled out at that time, we recently updated our code to have more of a monetary consequence so that these guys don’t get economic benefit," he says

Now, for the first time, the City of Reno can levy civil fines for repeat wastewater violations. The City hadn’t updated its codes on wastewater in more than 30 years and Bird says the changes were made in an anticipation of an EPA audit.