Some day, an enterprising reporter is going to find out what costs a city more: fixing the pipes, pumps and stations that break down and cause raw sewage to spill all over town, or paying the fines levied when the shit really hits the land.
Of course, since taxpayers get stuck with the bills either way, city officials probably don't give a you-know-what.
And so, we discover the City of Laguna Beach just got popped $70,680 from state regulators today for the release of 590,000 gallons of untreated sewage to the Pacific Ocean on Oct. 29, 2008.
Consider yourselves lucky, Lagunatics: The California Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Diego Region) could have assessed a maximum statutory penalty totaling a whopping $5.9 million for the spills.
Real Orange Countyland also got off cheaper today than the City of San Diego did. Chargersville was hit with $680,278 in penalties from the same agency over the release of 381,185 gallons of untreated sewage to Lake Hodges from Aug. 20-24, 2007.
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"Sewage overflows are among the most significant threats to water quality and the use of water in our region," John Robertus, the region's executive officer, says in a statement accompanying the orders.
"The Board imposed a fraction of the maximum penalties it could have, but the message is clear. It is imperative that sewage collection agencies concentrate on both the prevention of and the response to spills, especially in areas upstream of significant aquatic resources."
As stated above, it ain't their money to fret over. It's ours.
God bless us every one, Mr. Hankey.