Wire-manufacturing company in Irwindale fined for wastewater pollution

IRWINDALE — An Irwindale-based company has been ordered to pay $1.525 million in restitution and fines after pleading guilty to illegally dumping waste, authorities announced Wednesday.
The Davis Wire Corporation of Irwindale entered a guilty plea Oct. 26 to one count of negligent discharge of acidic pollutants into publicly owned treatment works, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said in a written statement.
“Davis Wire has an extensive history of noncompliance since at least 2004, including repeated discharges of highly acidic wastewater,” Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said. “Their illegal discharges put the surrounding community at risk by damaging the sewer pipes, potentially impacting public health and the environment.”
Representatives of Davis Wire could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The investigation by county and federal officials was opened in February of 2008 when a Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts employee noticed wastewater much more acidic than what regulations allow flowing into county wastewater pipes from the wire company, 5555 Irwindale Avenue, according to the EPA statement.
“Davis Wire uses sulfuric acid in the manufacturing process, and is required to neutralize the acid with a wastewater treatment system before sending it to the public sewer,” according to the EPA statement.
In February, March and April of 2008, however, officials said inspectors found highly acidic water flowing into sewers a total of 14 times. Further investigation revealed the company’s wastewater treatment system was badly in need of upgrades.
The ongoing illegal dumping of wastewater damaged county sewer lines, EPA officials said.
Following last month’s court hearing, Davis Wire was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to cover the damage to LACSD sewers, as well as a $25,000 fine.

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