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Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Water Runoff Rules In San Francisco

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(CBS)

(CBS)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma of San Francisco introduced legislation that would require the city’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) report wastewater discharges into the ocean and The Bay in a timelier manner. The PUC said that would be unnecessary and that the public are already getting timely alerts and that the Assemblywoman’s facts are wrong.

Currenltly, the law requires that wastewater runoff must be reported once a month. The problem usually occurs during wet weather when the runoff exceeds the sewer system’s capacity forcing the discharges.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Ma, who represents District 12, is concerned for the safety of swimmers and has proposed the bill that she said would require San Francisco to meet the same reporting standards as other sewage systems in California.

“Real time reporting is essential to the health and safety of residents,” said Ma.

She went on to stress how there are people swimming in Aquatic Park “everyday” and that the area is known to have surfers, dogs, but most importantly children who she claimed could be affected by “our waterways”.

PUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said 99 percent of the discharge is treated, tests are taken daily and warning signs posted on beaches.

“San Francisco’s combined sewer system does a wonderful job protecting the public health and the environment so that when these discharges happen, they’re receiving the equivalent of primary treatment at one of our treatment plants,” said Jue.

Ma said San Franciscans have a right to know as soon as possible when sea water is polluted, but the PUC maintained that’s exactly what they’re already doing and that her legislation to increase the frequency of reporting would only drive up costs for ratepayers.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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