Federal environmental regulators have fined the city of Fitchburg $141,000 for violations including discharging untreated sewer water into the Nashua River.
The consent decree was filed in federal court on Wednesday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that the city violated federal law by bypassing wastewater flows around a secondary treatment system, violated many limits on the amount of discharge on "hundreds of occasions," and discharged untreated water from the collection system without permits.
The city was also ordered to make at least $100,000 in improvements to its wastewater treatment system, including an operations and maintenance plan to overcome "systemic neglect" in the system.
City Councilor Marcus DiNatale tells The Sentinel and Enterprise the penalty had been anticipated and was factored into sewer rate increases.
This article was originally published on August 16, 2012.
This program aired on August 16, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.