Illegal dumping call leads to citation for pumping raw sewage into storm drain
April 26, 2010
Cape Coral’s Code Compliance Division has cited a resident in the northeast Cape with dumping raw sewage into the city’s storm drain Saturday.
Giovanni Modica, 62, of 3810 SW 1st Street, was cited for a violation of Chapter 19 (Section 2.5.1), which prohibits the discharge of wastewater into the city’s stormwater system. Modica faces a potential fine of $500 plus fees, officials said.
On April 24 at 10:52 a.m., Cape Coral Police Officer Nicholas Malone responded to an illegal dumping call at 2230 N.E. 15th Lane. When Malone arrived, he observed a man in the front yard holding a watering hose and standing next to a white PVC pipe. The pipe ran from the septic tank to the storm drain. Malone exited his patrol car and immediately smelled a strong odor of raw sewage. He observed what appeared to be raw sewage flowing from the pipe into the storm drain, officials said.
Modica reportedly Officer Malone that the home is owned by his girlfriend, and the septic tank was backed up. He stated that he was doing her a favor by pumping out the tank and draining the sewage into the storm drain. Modica said he had been pumping the septic for about 15 minutes before the officer’s arrival.
While Modica Officer Malone that this was the first time he had pumped raw sewage into the storm drain, the officer noted later that the PVC pipe being used had been disassembled and stored on a rack located on the fence in the backyard. It is unknown how long the activity has been occurring or how much raw sewage has been pumped into the stormwater system from this residence, officials said.
The homeowner, Ana Trujillo, told Malone she has been having problems with the septic since moving into the home, and the septic backs up every couple of months. Trujillo has owned the home for several years, and she reportedly said she has never contacted a septic company to fix the problem.
Code Compliance Officer George Nixon responded to the residence and cited Modica for dumping raw sewage into the city’s storm drain, which leads to the canal system. Code Compliance will follow up at the residence to ensure that the septic system is repaired and functioning properly.
Source: Cape Coral Police Department