Alaskan City to Pay $39,000 Settlement for Clean Water Act Violations

The city of Ketchikan, Alaska, reached a $39,000 settlement for alleged Clean Water Act violations related to the city's discharge of wastewater, EPA announced on Feb. 1.

The city owns and operates a wastewater treatment facility that discharges treated wastewater into the Tongass Narrows. The wastewater treatment plant is part of a sanitary sewer system that receives domestic wastewater from residential and commercial sources. The facility serves a population of approximately 8,000.

The discharge from the city's facility exceeded the fecal coliform bacteria, copper, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, pH and total residual chlorine effluent limits on numerous occasions. The effluent limits are set forth in the city's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Between June 2001 and December 2005, the facility had 861 effluent limit violations.

"It's our job to ensure protection of water quality in Alaska," said Marcia Combes, Alaska operations office director for EPA. "That's why we make sure that cities like Ketchikan are following the requirements set forth by their discharge permit. We're happy to see that the city is making strides to upgrade their facility."

For more information about EPA's NPDES discharge program, go to