Video report by Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT
Text by Kelly Glista, Hartford Courant
Heavy rains caused millions of gallons of partially-treated sewage to spill into the Stamford Harbor from the wastewater treatment plant and more than a dozen other Connecticut waterways, officials said Thursday.
Stamford has closed the beaches and shellfish beds, and canceled a regatta that was scheduled for this weekend as a precaution, city Director of Administration Mike Handler said. Increased beach patrols are planned as well.
The spill began at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Handler said, when the water flow exceeded what the wastewater treatment plant was designed to handle. Early Thursday morning the plant experienced the highest level of water flow ever recorded there, he said.
The water flow level decreased throughout the day Thursday and is expected to return to normal levels Thursday night, Handler said.
A state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesperson said that the DEEP has been in touch with Stamford officials since early Thursday morning. The city Health Department will be taking samples of the water to measure bacteria levels, which are expected to be very high.
Stamford’s was not the only wastewater treatment plant to experience problems on Wednesday night as heavy rain bombarded the state. According to DEEP, 14 other plants reported “unseasonably high flows” overnight, and some reported a loss of treatment effectiveness.
Officials do not yet know how long the beaches will remain closed.