Pollutant limits change to keep city in compliance

COLUMBIA CITY — The Columbia City Common Council made some tweaks to its sewage pollutant concentration regulations with an amendment to its current sewage ordinance.The amendment was heard in its first reading at the council’s regular meeting Tuesday night.Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Mike Cook told the board the amendments were necessary to keep the city in compliance with Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulations.“We added one limit and the rest was just a matter of changing verbiage,” said Cook.The ordinance adds ammonia to its list of pollutants with a daily maximum of 25 milligrams per liter.“This (ordinance) applies to industries,” said Cook. “All our industries that we sample that have a discharge permit through the state, they now have to meet those discharge limits.”The ordinance also amends language that specified two different limits for the same process.“The other part of the amendment was just a typographical change,” said Cook.According to Cook, sewage that arrives at the city’s facility from industries will contain certain contaminants, all of which have limits of concentration by state law.In turn, the city has limits on concentrations of those same pollutants that must be met by treated sewage that leaves the facility.For ammonia, the city’s concentration can be no more than 4.5 milligrams per liter in the winter and no more than 2.3 milligrams per liter in the summer.“Anything more than that and we’re in violation,” said Cook. “But, we’re always consistently below one milligram per liter.”