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October 22, 2022

MSWD Settles For $175,000 For Sewage Spill At Horton

From the Desert Sun:

After large Desert Hot Springs sewage spill, MWSD [sic] will settle with regulator for $175,000

Janet Wilson
Palm Springs Desert Sun

Mission Springs Water District announced Friday that it will pay $175,000 for allowing a nearly 1 million-gallon spill of treated sewage effluent down residential streets in Desert Hot Springs last October and failing to promptly report it.

The agreement is pending final approval by the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Board, which issued a notice of violation to MSWD for releasing treated secondary effluent from the Alan L. Horton Wastewater Treatment Facility on Oct. 3, 2021. Both sides agreed to the amount in settlement negotiations, MSWD said.

The funds would be used to remove between 21 and 68 properties from aging septic systems and hook them up to safer sewage systems, with priority given to homes closest to MWSD well sites.

The district had faced up to $9.4 million in fines, after officials there waited two weeks to notify state authorities that large amounts of treated wastewater gushed through Desert Hot Springs streets. Such spills are supposed to be reported immediately.

Since then, MSWD said in a news release, the district has worked with regional water board staff to make structural and process improvements at the facility and has broken ground on a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant north of Interstate 10 in Desert Hot Springs.

“Serving a disadvantaged community comes with a unique set of challenges. Some residents simply do not have the means to connect to the sewer system,” said MSWD general manager Arden Wallum. “Using funds for projects such as this not only helps our residents and the District, but the entire Coachella Valley watershed.”

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Health | permalink | October 22, 2022 at 12:33 PM


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