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Judge Orders Bay Area Cities To Upgrade Sewer Systems

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) — A federal court has ordered seven municipal sewage systems to upgrade leaky facilities which have spewed millions of gallons of sewage into San Francisco Bay this winter.

The order, entered Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg, covers seven East Bay districts: Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, Piedmont and the Stege district, which serves Kensington, El Cerrito and part of Richmond.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Nearly 125 million gallons of raw and partially treated sewage was spilled into the bay since October, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco Baykeeper and other groups.

The court’s order said the sewer districts must make substantial improvements to reduce sewage spills to the bay.

Sewage contains pathogens that can poison the bay’s food web, local wildlife and cause a number of human illnesses, according to regulators.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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