Responsibility of Wastewater Treatment Plant Managers

Responsibility of Wastewater Treatment Plant Managers

Water Liquids and Irrigation Vol. 32-34
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror, Advocates December 2004

According to the Water Law, water sources are public property, controlled by the state, designated for development of the country, including also sewage and water drainage.

The local authorities are responsible for treating sanitary sewage. Nowadays there are private corporations managing the water industry in order to ensure proper service, quality and credibility standards at a low cost and a professional and effective management of water systems.

This article deals with the responsibility and legal obligation of managers and operators of such institutes for waste water purification.

In this context, there should be a distinction between owners and operators of the institute. According to the law, the owners are not the only ones responsible; the operators are responsible as well. The law of water and Sewage Corporations determines the responsible person is: “a director, general manager, other person operating as substitute or any other position holder in the company who is responsible for the offence done”.

Managers are exposed to criminal prosecutions in the case of sewage flooding causing pollution of sea and water sources, bad smell and damages to property. They are bound by the law of Preventing Environmental Damages. They should warn about the possibility of rain penetrating the sewage system as a matter of precaution. They should supervise the quantity of sewage entering the institute and its quality.

The local outhority  has to forbid the flow of harming materials to sewers.

The head of a local authority can demand from a property owner to make the necessary works to ensure a proper operation of sewage.

In order to fulfill their duties, managers are responsible for training workers, keeping a high technological standard, preventing nuisances (such as noise, smell). On the executive and criminal level, they are exposed to trials and penalties according to the law of Noise Prevention.

On the personal level they are exposed to civil law suits for causing a public nuisance. Managers of sewage purification plants should have all necessary licenses required by the law (such as business license, poison permission etc.)