HERRIMAN — The owner of a sewage cleaning company has been charged with cleaning a man's septic tank and twice dumping the waste on his property.
Tom Vasiliou and A&B Sewer and Drain were charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with two counts of violation of the Water Quality Act, a third-degree felony.
On Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, 2012, employees of A&B Sewer cleaned the septic tank of a resident at 7221 W. Rose Canyon Road and then dumped the sewage material they had just collected into an adjacent field owned by the same person, according to charging documents.
The property owner said Vasiliou asked for permission to dump the sludge and he agreed.
But Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Vasiliou, who has held a permit to haul and dispose liquid waste since 2002, should have known better.
The alleged illegal dumping was discovered because of an anonymous citizen who saw what was going on, took pictures and submitted them to the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.
Gill praised the citizen and noted that he has a special interest in environmental cases. Gill specialized in environmental crimes when he worked as a prosecutor and his office has an Environmental Task Force.
It's not just the major oil spills that need prosecuting, but smaller acts of crimes against the environment, he said, adding that the public needs to be educated to prevent them from happening.
"It's really important to ask our citizens to be on the lookout for that," Gill said.
Gill also said the public also needs to realize that the smaller acts of abuse against the environment aren't "your typical crime" but can have a long-lasting negative effect on the environment as much as a large oil spill.
Vasiliou said he traditionally took the grease from septic tank and sewer line cleanings to a local oil company and other parts to South Valley Sewer, according to charging documents.
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