East Bay MUD spilled a whopping 170 million gallons of partially treated sewage into San Francisco Bay during the heavy rainstorms two weeks ago, the Chron reports, citing data from the environmental group, San Francisco Baykeeper. At least 77 million gallons of the heavy spillage apparently were related to the aging sewer pipes in Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Emeryville, and Piedmont. EBMUD and those five cities were sued last year by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to fix the problem.
Unlike raw sewage, partially treated sewage has no large solids and has been mixed with rainwater and treated with chlorine. However, the wastewater still is contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, including mercury, and other toxics.