Broken Pipes, Broken System

East Bay Express

Oakland has failed to report hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic sewage spills that have sickened animals, damaged property, and polluted waterways, including Lake Temescal... Parties to the 2014 consent decree, like the environmental group San Francisco Baykeeper, which has worked to protect Bay Area waters from pollution for nearly 30 years, rely on and trust the record-keeping of the city, because they do not have the capacity to check themselves. Erica Maharg, Baykeeper's managing attorney, also said that even if the numbers reported were accurate, there's too much sewage flowing into the bay. "The city has more than 900 miles of sewer pipes. So, typically, any one day if you go out and see one segment, you are not going to find anything," she said, adding, "but these reports are submitted under penalty of perjury. So, if there is something wrong, that is a pretty serious offense."