Continuous Illegal Treated Sewage Discharge

Friday 24 July 2015 08:38:45 PM

Location: 676-698 Arthur Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94124, EE. UU.

Category: Water


On Wednesday 7/22/15 a person kayaking in the Islais Creek Park area, and Sewage Pump Station, spotted an unusual water turbulence springing up from the creek's water. It was then reported to proper authorities. The South East Sewage Plant was notified. Arrangements were made to have professional divers come out to the site on Friday 7/24/15. In the interim very significant amounts of turbulent water continued springing up, and/or leaking. When divers arrived on Friday they discovered there is a significant hole in the Islais Creek Pump Station-sewage discharge piping underneath the creek, which continues to leak treated sewage presently. This treated sewage is normally pumped much further out through piping under the Islais Creek Channel, beyond the local pier into the bay. By state law the discharge leaking of treated sewage in the Islais Creek is a violation. Although, this sewage leak was discovered on Wednesday 7/22/15, this leak could have been going on for a long time, months or longer. The pipe is leaking now and discharging hundreds of thousands of gallons a day, or more likely, millions of gallons a day into the Islais Creek. In the interim, public recreation such as kayaking and fishing in the Islais Creek continues. It is not known why the Southeast Plant water department Officials have not treated this leak like the emergency it really is, and have the proper repairs made to the sewage discharge piping immediately ASAP, which is estimated to be 66" in diameter or greater. Official management incompetence and disrespect for Bayview Hunters Point seems to be involved in the way this emergency is handled. We hope the Bayview Hunters Point community gets the respect and treatment it deserves with the handling of this matter. Bayview Hunters Point deserves the same treatment as more affluent areas when it comes to service from the CCSF Sewage Treatment Plant.


Author: Marie Harrison, Greenaction and Task Force coordinator



Upon receiving this complaint via the website and phone, Marie Harrison of Greenaction and the BVHP EJ Task Force went to the site and confirmed the problem, including talking to plant supervisor and seeing divers trying to repair the broken pipe. Marie contacted the SF PUC and water board and the problem has been referred to them for action.

Author: Yolanda Manzone, SF Public Utilities Commission



SFPUC Response – to be posted to the IVAN-BVHP website as a response to the above complaint: “The SFPUC operates the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant (SEP). Constructed in 1957, SEP is the largest and oldest of the City’s treatment plants. Over the next 10 years, the SFPUC will be making extensive improvements to SEP to ensure reliability and to enable SEP to continue to protect the health of our community and environment. More information about SEP and those projects is available on our website: Due to its age and condition, SEP has experienced problems, some of which have resulted in discharges to Islais Creek and San Francisco Bay that are not authorized by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for SEP. As required by the SEP NPDES permit, which is issued by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the SFPUC promptly reports all unauthorized discharges to the Regional Water Board and, if appropriate, to the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the California Office of Emergency Services. The incidents described in the complaint were reported to the appropriate agencies in a timely fashion. All information on SEP operations and discharges, including descriptions of any unauthorized discharges, is available on the USEPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website ( and the California Integrated Water Quality System website (”



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