UPDATE DEC. 27, 11:47 a.m.: Veolia Water Co. spokesman Paul Whitmore has released the following statement on the ongoing efforts to repair the Seymour sewage line break, which has led to raw sewage spilling into the Naugatuck River:
“Veolia Water (Veolia) continues to provide emergency response services to the Town of Seymour Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) following a Christmas Day manhole collapse along the Naugatuck River.
Emergency responders from Veolia arrived on the scene at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday to find that the manhole structure had partially collapsed, sending debris into the bottom of the manhole and blocking the flow of untreated wastewater to the Seymour Wastewater Treatment Plant. The manhole provides access to an underground pipe that carries wastewater underneath the Naugatuck River.
As a result of the collapse, approximately 150,000 gallons of untreated wastewater has discharged to the Naugatuck River. The treatment plant has not been impacted and continues to treat wastewater.
Veolia does not manage the collection system, however, the company is under contract to provide emergency services. Personnel are working to repair the manhole to allow the flow of wastewater to resume. The company will support the Town of Seymour as it develops a permanent solution. Veolia is coordinating the emergency response with the Town of Seymour WPCA and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP).”
Valley rupture: Raw sewage enters river, flows downstream
Work crews have stopped the sewage leak that dumped about 150,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Naugatuck River in Seymour on Thursday night. Now the effort is underway to repair the broken line.
According to Paul Whitmore, a spokesman for Veolia Water, which runs the Seymour sewage treatment facility, the break occurred last night next to an active Metro-North Railroad crossing near the Kinny Town Dam in Seymour. The company is still investigating the cause of the break.
“Essentially it was a manhole that caved in,” Whitmore said Friday morning. “Workers were out until late last night and they were able to get the flow stopped.”
Waste would flow in river through Shelton
The Naugatuck River flows through Seymour, Ansonia and Derby before merging with the Housatonic River in Derby, near downtown Shelton and just south of the Route 8 Commodore Hull Bridge.
The raw sewage would be expected to then flow southward in the Housatonic River, close to Route 110 (River Road in Shelton), eventually emptying into Long Island Sound at the Stratford/Milford border.
More than 100 gallons per minute
According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the break was leaking at a rate of more than 100 gallons per minute before crews were able to stop it. Workers also attempted to contain the spill, but it is unclear how successful those efforts were.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System, the Naugatuck River is currently flowing about 403 cubic feet per second, or about 3,014 gallons per second.
The Naugatuck River flows into the Housatonic River on the Derby/Shelton border, and then flows south before emptying into the Long Island Sound between Stratford and Milford.