SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A wave of resignations at San Jose’s wastewater treatment plant has put the operation at a high risk for a “catastrophic failure,” according to a newly-released report.

All the water used by South Bay cities, including Santa Clara, Milpitas, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos and Monte Sereno comes through the Water Pollution Control Plant.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The plant has been witnessed a steady loss of over the last three years. 90 workers– 43 percent of the total work force, have left the facility.

According to a new city audit released Friday, the exodus has raised the risk of a plant failure that could “imperil the public health and safety” with raw sewage flowing into the bay, or worse— into the streets and streams.

The San Jose City Council said it’s working to address the problem. On Tuesday, council members will consider a proposal to contract workers to fill in gaps at the plant.

“We’ll apply a short fix for now with the longer term recognizing the need to increase the pay in those categories where we need to attract the workers,” said City Councilman Sam Liccardo.

According the San Jose Mercury News, many of the workers left for higher salaries after the city approved a ten percent pay cut for all city employees. Plant employees’ compensation is currently ten percent below market rates.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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