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Lawsuit claims city's sewage-treatment plant pollutes river

John MacDiarmid picks up a rock out of the Rogue River near Medfordís wastewater treatment plant Wednesday. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Water-quality advocates have filed a lawsuit alleging the city of Medford has known for years that water discharged from its sewage-treatment plant illegally harms the Rogue River's aquatic balance but failed to fix it.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports Northwest Environmental Advocates, in a suit filed Tuesday, claims studies since 2013 show nutrient levels cause unnatural algae and aquatic weed growth, damage underwater insects and at times create a sudsy, smelly plume on the river.

The suit seeks to force the city to stop violating the Clean Water Act and start removing more nitrogen and phosphorus from treated water before it's discharged.

Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbin says he is unaware the suit has been filed and cannot comment on it.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com

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