The City of Ashland Waste Water Treatment Plant has received a civil penalty from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). During a routine inspection conducted by DEQ, it was noted that a test conducted at the treatment plant to measure the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD5) in the plant influent (incoming waste water) was being conducted without using proper Quality Assurance/ Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures. The approved testing requires proper QA/QC procedures to verify results of the test are accurate. The failure to follow proper QA/QC methods has resulted in the assessment of a $2,500 civil penalty.
“The City takes these matters very seriously and has begun working with a consulting laboratory specialist to verify all our lab tests, procedures, QA/QC, documentation and reporting meet all the requirements of our DEQ issued wastewater discharge permit”, says Mike Morrison, public works superintendent.
The cause of this penalty was failure to follow the proper QA/QC and reporting procedures for a specific laboratory test on plant influent. At no time was the plant effluent (outgoing treated water) compromised, and there was no impact to the environment.