Santa Ana : Firm Fined $6,000 in Waste Water Discharge

A company was fined $6,000 by a state agency for discharging more than 12,000 gallons of scalding hot waste water into a flood-control channel, killing marine life, state officials said.

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board took the action against Multitex Corp. of America, said Gerard Thibeault, assistant executive officer for the board in the Santa Ana region.

The carpet-dying company discharged the waste water on July 11 into the Greenville-Banning flood-control channel, which runs through the city and connects to the Pacific Ocean, Thibeault said.

The hot water was used to rinse out the company's dye vats after they were cleaned, and contained only a small amount of dye when discharged into the channel, he said. But the temperature of the water was measured at 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, Thibeault said.

Heat from the discharge killed 50 to 100 crayfish and "stressed" other organisms in the channel, which "supports a thriving aquatic environment," he said.

Multitex management could not be reached for comment.

The discharge was detected after someone notified the Orange County Environmental Management Agency, which in turn notified the board, Thibeault said.

"We don't believe it was an intentional discharge. It happened, but it could have been prevented," he said.

The company waived its right to a hearing and did not contest the board's order, he said.

"They've worked very diligently to get the facts out and correct their discharge system to prevent recurrence of the problem," he said.

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