Plumbers in Fresno, California, are facing a fine of up to $10,000 for using a “dirty, dirty substance” to fill pipes and pipes to the roof of their home, a city councilwoman said on Monday.
City Councilwoman Barbara Hall said the homeowner who reported the alleged incident to police last week was charged with “using a dirty, dirty, dangerous substance,” and that the homeowner will be fined $10 a day if convicted.
“If the homeowner was not aware that this was a violation of the city code, she should not have been allowed to do this,” Hall said at a news conference on Monday, adding that the city was looking into the homeowner’s use of a “dirt” to replace an old pipe.
The city’s plumbing department has been investigating a plumbing company for using the “diamond dust” and “toxic” substance, Hall said.
The homeowner said she did not know the “dirty substance” was used to fill the pipes when she called the department about 2:30 p.m. on Monday and was told it was “the city’s standard procedure” to install “dirty, dirty plumbing.”
“We’re not doing this to be disrespectful,” Hall told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“We’re doing this because we have to, because we need to do the right thing.”
In January, the state of California passed new regulations to prevent homeowners from installing illegal dirt in their home.
They require contractors to obtain a permit to install dirt or “a mixture of dirt and sand” in any part of the home, or to “remove, fill, or displace” dirt.
In response to the new regulations, the California Building and Safety Commission in March announced it would launch an investigation into the incident.
A building permit issued in February to the contractor that installed the dirt had not been properly updated to cover the material.
A permit issued for the same contractor to install the “dust mixture” for the roofing in December had not yet been updated to include the “cotton” material that is typically used in construction.
A city spokeswoman said the City Council would consider the matter again on Tuesday.
The City Council on Monday also voted to remove the “Dirty Water” permit from the contractor.