U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have reached an agreement with the Hammond Sanitary District in Hammond, Ind., that will resolve long-standing violations of the Clean Water Act involving discharges of untreated sewage into the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers. Today’s settlement will also protect Hammond residents from exposure to raw sewage caused by sewer backups into their homes. The city will make significant infrastructure improvements and pay a $561,000 fine.
The Hammond Sanitary District has agreed to take actions over the next 18 years to manage sewer overflows and effectively treat storm water and industrial wastewater during wet weather events. The city will develop a long-term control plan to limit combined sewer overflows and prevent sewer backups. IDEM also approved the district’s use of bioswale to drain storm water runoff from a planned bike trail in Hammond.
The Hammond Sanitary District has 10 combined sewer outfalls that discharge into the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers. When wastewater systems overflow, untreated sewage and other pollutants can be released to local waterways, threatening water quality and potentially contributing to beach closures and health concerns. Untreated sewage contains bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause disease.
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