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New Problem Reported At South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant

A South Coast wastewater treatment plant which had a major spill into the ocean last month is reporting new problems.

The City of Oxnard's facility is reporting that two of its three key pumps needed to keep the plant in operation are offline because of damage.  One pump is being rebuilt, and a second had a major part fail on Saturday. 

The pumps move nearly 29 million gallons of wastewater a day, and the concern is that with only one of them in working order, it could lead to partially treated wastewater being released into the ocean.   The city has ordered parts to rebuild the pumps, but it takes months to custom make them for the outdated system.

Last month, a failure in a backup power system allowed 80,000 gallons of partially treated wasterwater to flow into the ocean.

The City Council approved major wastewater treatment rate hikes this year to raise money to try to upgrade the more than half century old facility.