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San Francisco Bay septic tank gets ANOTHER Marin County sewage spill

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 at 7:18 am in Birds, Fish, Sewage spills, Wildlife.

Once again, for the 5th time in 31 days, Marin County has flushed more raw sewage into San Francisco Bay.

That averages out to be approximately 1,001,550 gallons of raw sewage dumped into the Bay every 6 days by Marin County.

This latest dump of crap into our Bay came from the smelly little Marin city of San Rafael. According to the San Rafael Sanitation District, 6,000 gallons of raw sewage mixed with storm water spilled at around 11 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 24) at Fifth Avenue and Hetherton Street … apparently because residents have been flushing industrial-strength paper towels down their toilets instead of disposing of them in the garbage.

According to the Sanitation District, the towels, which don’t readily dissolve in water, supposedly got caught in tree roots, causing sewage to back up in a 15-inch pipe. The pipe overflowed and “was the district’s worst ever spill and the first one to spill into a ditch that led to the San Rafael Canal and San Pablo Bay.”

Tree roots in sewer pipes, eh?

It’s not as if our poor Bay hasn’t had enough pollution problems in the last few months, starting with 50,000-plus gallons of toxic fuel oil from the ship that rammed the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7.

Here’s the latest Marin Muck & Mire Score for 2008:

** 5 million-plus gallons of sewage from the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin on Jan. 25 and on Jan. 31.

** Another 1,500 gallons of raw sewage from Marin’s San Quentin Prison on Feb. 14.

** Another 250 gallons of raw sewage from the North Marin Water District on Feb. 18.

** And now another 6,000 gallons of raw sewage and storm water from the San Rafael Sanitation District.

And these are just the spills we KNOW about.

What about the other cities and counties that border San Francisco Bay? Anyone know what these guys have been flushing into the San Francisco Bay Septic Tank since the first of the year? Please let me know.

I’m sure there are a lot of sick and dying aquatic birds, marine mammals, fish, crabs, shellfish and other barely living creatures that would also like to have that information before they die.

Andy Preston, administrator of the San Rafael Sanitation District, was quoted by Bay City News Service as saying a test for fecal coliform taken 24 hours after the spill showed an “acceptable” level for human contact.

That’s part of the problem right there — having “acceptable” levels for all the crap that gets dumped into the Bay.

And by the way, anyone know what the “acceptable” levels are for aquatic wildlife? Just kidding. Of course you don’t.

How about a new rule that says NO levels of fecal coliform are “acceptable” for humans and wildlife?

Even better … how about NO MORE SEWAGE SPILLS FROM MARIN COUNTY … for starters?

Dear San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board:

Anybody out there? /Gary

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