A sewage treatment plant in San Francisco is anticipating being fined for a leaking pipe which has allowed 500,000 gallons of mixed raw and partially treated sewage to pour into San Francisco Bay.
The leak was spotted on Tuesday, where initially 300 gallons of sewage were being emitted per minute into the Bay. The fitting of a metal plate to redirect the leaking waste water back into the plant for proper treatment managed to reduce the amount being released to approx 1 gallon per minute. The task of completing the repair work by encasing the 23 year old pipe in concrete was not possible to rectify immediately however, as the piece of pipe affected was at the water line, and the high tide, worsened to by recent high levels of rainfall, meant that workmen would have to wait until Thursday before being able to continue with the repair.
Comments have been made that maintainance and repairwork should be made a priority rather than waiting for problems such as this to provoke a response. Last year, The Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin was fined $1.6m when over 3 million gallons of partially treated sewage was released. How many more cases where sewage, chemicals and other untreated waste is released will happen before agencies and authorities realise that it is their responsibility to prevent their organisations being responsible for such detriment to the environment?