Sep 13, 2006

Conn. Wastewater Station Upgrades Alarms

The public works department in Norwalk, Conn., will update the alarms at the city’s 22 wastewater pumping stations. In an effort to prevent sewage spills, the alarms will help prioritize repairs when there are multiple equipment malfunctions.

Public Works Director Harold Alvord told The Stamford Advocate that the current alarms indicate that something is wrong, but do not describe the problem.

Alvord also stated that during late rains in August, eight dfferent alarms went off in one night. Operations Management International (OMI), the private firm that runs the plants, had to send out a crew to each station in order to determine the location of the problem.

The new system being considered by the city would alert OMI staff to the specific cause of the problem. When more than one alarm sounds, the system can direct crews to the sites where a spill is most likely to occur.

Ralph Kolb, City Wastewater Systems Manager said to The Stamford Advocate that the staff might even be able to fix the problem electronically from the plant, in stead of heading to the station.

City officials have chosen Wright-Pierce, an environmental engineering firm from Maine, among the five candidates to help develop the plan for the alarm system. Alvord would like to see the installation begin in middle or late 2007.