Davis Wire Corp., a California-based manufacturer of galvanized wire, has reportedly pleaded guilty to one count of negligent discharge of acidic pollutants into a publicly owned treatment works and has been sentenced to pay $1.5 million in restitution to the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (District) for damages to the sewer system and a $25,000 criminal fine. The case was initiated in February 2008, when a District employee detected acid wastewater (with a pH level of approximately 3.0) in the southern portion of the local trunk line. The District traced the source to Davis Wire, which has an industrial wastewater discharge permit that does not allow a discharge with a pH level below 6.0.
Thereafter, during February, March, April, and May 2008, inspectors recorded 14 illegal discharges from the facility. Investigators determined that the discharges had impaired sewer trunk lines to the extent that the entire line had to be re-lined at a cost of more than $1 million. See EPA Press Release, November 10, 2010.