LITTLETON -- A national elderly care company will pay up to $75,000 in fines for allegedly failing to properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment facility at its Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley nursing home, according to the Attorney General's Office.
The fine to be paid by Life Care Centers of America, or Life Care, is due to the company's alleged violation of the terms to its groundwater discharge permit at their Littleton-based facility, Attorney General Maura Healey stated in a press release Tuesday.
The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday, settles a lawsuit filed by the AG's Office alleging Life Care violated the state's Clean Waters Act by exceeding the limits for certain pollutants at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley.
The AG's Office also alleges Life Care failed to address numerous operation and maintenance issues, which prevented the facility from properly operating.
"Clean water is critical for the well being of our residents and businesses," Healey said in the release. "This settlement requires Life Care to pay for the illegal discharge of pollutants and to make facility improvements to prevent future contamination of the state's groundwater."
In addition to paying up to $75,000, Life Care will make facility improvements, including installing and activating a cellular alarm system and installing a separate storage shed to store on-site treatment chemical containers.
In a statement released by Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley Executive Director Rebecca Benoit on Wednesday, she said "residents and patients are our highest priority." She added the concerns raised by the state were regarding the permitted discharge of treated wastewater to the groundwater and not any water that would be utilized in the facility for drinking or bathing.
"No Life Care associates or residents were or will be exposed to the groundwater or any discharges from the wastewater treatment system at any time while living or working in the building," Benoit said.
The wastewater treatment system is now fully functional at the Littleton-based facility, according to the executive director.
"We have, in fact, been regularly complying with our permit requirements for more than a year," Benoit said.
Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley also hired a new wastewater treatment system operator, Weston & Sampson, based in Reading.