Vermont’s Burlington Public Work Makes Upgrades

June 1, 2020

Vermont’s Burlington Public Work is making upgrades to its systems in order to better prevent overflow into Lake Champlain after a storm

Vermont’s Burlington Public Work is making upgrades to its systems in order to prevent overflow into Lake Champlain.

After a storm on Friday evening, approximately 1.4 million gallons of treated, but not fully disinfected wastewater and storm water runoff was sent past the breakwater, according to WCAX3.

According to Vermont officials, for almost an hour, water passing through the system did not receive the required amount of disinfectant. Public Works officials believe it is likely that the system would have worked as it should. They say changes are in the works to prevent the problem in the future.

"There's going to be tank level alarms on the tanks themselves so it's not going to require an operator to visually check the tank. We're also going to have larger tanks, so had we had a larger tank this would not have happened," said head of the Burlington Public Works Water Division, Megan Moir.

The bids for the disinfection upgrades are due back this week, added WCAX3. 

Lake Champlain, one of the most frequently visited recreation areas by Vermont residents and visitors alike, generates in millions of dollars from its tourism and fishing industries alone, according to a report prepared by undergraduate students at Dartmouth College, under the direction of professors in Rockefeller center. 

The main wastewater treatment facilities in the state have been leaking semi-treated wastewater into the Lake due to outdated sewage treatment systems and use of combined sewage overflows (CSOs). 

Since these systems are unable to handle the heavy precipitation that Vermont has encountered in recent years, the Vermont Senate Committee of Natural Resources and Energy is researching patterns of leakage in the state. The goal is to determine how best to generate funds to mitigate the cost of tackling pollution.

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Cristina Tuser

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