WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced that the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has agreed to make significant upgrades to reduce overflows from its sewer system and pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) violations stemming from illegal discharges of raw sewage, according to a press release.

The state of Texas is a co-plaintiff in this case and will receive half of the civil penalty, noted the release.

When wastewater systems overflow, they can release raw sewage and other pollutants into local waterways, threatening water quality and contributing to beach closures and disease outbreaks.

To come into compliance with the CWA, including remedial measures taken during the parties’ negotiations and the comprehensive measures required under the settlement, SAWS is expected to spend $1.1 billion to achieve compliance, stated the release.

“EPA is working with cities across the country to protect the nation’s waters from raw sewage overflows that can threaten public health,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The improvements and upgrades agreed to in this settlement will protect the people of San Antonio and the surrounding communities by reducing raw sewage in the water.”

Read the entire press release here.