May 02, 2011

Connecticut Town to Pay Penalty, Fix Wastewater Infrastructure

Penalty comes almost six years after ruptured sewage lines dumped millions of gal of raw sewage into harbor

Under a settlement between United States, Connecticut and Greenwich, Conn., officials, the town of Greenwich will pay a $200,000 penalty and rehabilitate a critical wastewater collection system that serves three of the town’s major wastewater pump stations. The agreement settles allegations of the town’s Clean Water Act violations from two major ruptures of a sewage system.

On Oct. 14, 2005, the Old Greenwich Common Force Main ruptured and released 14.5 million gal of raw sewage into the Cos Cob Harbor, a tributary to the Long Island Sound. The same force main ruptured again on Dec. 16, 2008, releasing 28 million gal of raw sewage into Cos Cob Harbor.

In the event of another rupture to the force main, the agreement requires the town to pay additional penalties and replace some or all of the older sections of the force main—depending on the circumstances of the rupture.

“Environmental Protection Agency [officials] expect all municipalities to pay particular attention to critical elements of their wastewater infrastructure,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. “As this situation showed, a failure in the system can result in millions of gallons of untreated sewage being released directly to the environment.”

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