News Releases from Headquarters›Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
The City Will Eliminate Sanitary Sewer System Overflows and Illegal Discharges
WASHINGTON (September 25, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with the City of Corpus Christi to improve its sewer system, which, with more than 1,100 miles of sewer lines and more than 100 lift stations, is one of the largest sewer systems in Texas.
Under the settlement, the City has agreed to implement a comprehensive set of corrective measures and improvements to the City’s sewer system to resolve longstanding problems with sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). An SSO occurs when sewage is released from a municipal sanitary sewer before it reaches the treatment works and can be caused by broken pipes or backups from blockages or infiltration of rainwater. The City also has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.136 million which will be shared equally with the State of Texas.
“EPA and the State of Texas worked alongside the City of Corpus Christi to develop a comprehensive solution to protect water quality,” said Susan Bodine, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s settlement benefits Corpus Christi residents and the environment by ensuring the City will upgrade their facilities to eliminate future violations.”
The consent decree requires Corpus Christi to prioritize cleaning and evaluating the condition of sewer lines in locations that have historically experienced SSOs, comprising an area of roughly 40% of the entire sewer system. This will be completed within the first four years of the consent decree. In these areas, sewer blockages caused by the buildup of grease and debris and sewer line defects have led to SSOs. The City has also agreed to conduct cleaning and sewer assessments in the remaining portions of