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Gold Hill fined for releasing pollution into Rogue River

Pollution from Gold Hill's aging wastewater treatment plant exceeded standards set by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in July and August 2013.

The DEQ announced Monday it fined the city $415 for releasing poorly treated wastewater into the Rogue River.

City Manager Rick Hohnbaum said the city's wastewater treatment west of town along Highway 99 has undergone considerable upgrades since last year.

He said he is confident the city will not exceed the pollution levels again.

The city has invested $300,000 into the plant, including adding a new type of disinfectant to treat the wastewater.

"It's leaping centuries ahead," Hohnbaum said.

However, the city is only able to squeeze another five years out of the plant before it will have to invest $5 million to $10 million for a new facility, he said.

— Damian Mann