Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

News Release
Release Date: Jan. 23, 2014 Contacts: Esther Westbrook, Compliance and Enforcement, Portland, 503-229-5374 Robert Dicksa, Water Quality Program, Salem, 503-378-5039

Protecting the Pudding: DEQ fines city of Woodburn $4,800 for high ammonia levels in wastewater discharge
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined the city of Woodburn $4,800 for discharging treated wastewater from the city’s sewage treatment plant that contained higher than allowed concentrations of ammonia during the month of August 2013. The city also received a citation, but no penalty, for discharging wastewater that exceeded the daily limit for E. Coli on Sept. 10, 2013. Woodburn’s sewer plant discharges treated wastewater to the Pudding River, a tributary of the Willamette. The city’s permit sets conditions and limits for the amount of pollution like ammonia and E. Coli that can be present in the treated water as it enters the stream. These limits are necessary to protect public health and the environment. DEQ enforces Oregon environmental laws to protect people’s health and to keep our region’s air, land, and water clean and healthy. Ammonia is toxic to a host of creatures that live in and around the water. Ammonia limits were calculated for Woodburn’s treatment plant to ensure that the discharge does not cause toxic effects outside the allowed mixing zone and to protect water quality in the Pudding River. The city of Woodburn did not appeal the penalty. For more information about DEQ-issued penalties across Oregon and other information about DEQ’s compliance and enforcement, please see the agency’s website.


Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 811 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204 | Tel/503-229-5696

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