Power Failure Leads to Wastewater Discharge in Connecticut River

Aug. 6, 2018

An unknown amount of wastewater has been discharged by the Northampton Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Connecticut River

On Aug. 3, a power failure caused the Northampton Wastewater Treatment Plant in Northampton, Mass., to release discharge into the Connecticut River. Severe weather led to failures on the treatment plant’s emergency, alarm and pumping systems. It currently is unknown how much primary treated effluent was released.

According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the effluent was discharged into the Old Mill River bed, which flows into the Connecticut River. The Northampton Health Department advises the public should wait 48 hours before swimming in the Connecticut River. The 48-hour period expired Monday, Aug. 6 at 6 a.m. The Department of Public Works has stressed that this is not raw sewage because it has undergone the second step in wastewater treatment and seperated the physical solids from the wastewater.

“We are working as quickly as possible to completely restore all treatment processes and are working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to ensure appropriate communication, remedial action and regulatory compliance,” Department of Public Works Director Donna LaScaleia said in a statement.