CT officials are targeting sewer pollution with $580 million in grants to cities and towns

Part of Greater New Haven’s Water Pollution Control Authority plant.

Part of Greater New Haven’s Water Pollution Control Authority plant.


Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced $580 million in clean-water grants to upgrade sewer systems and waste-water treatment facilities throughout the state.

Funding for the 18 prioritized projects will be spread out over two years, and includes $73 million in federal infrastructure financing for New Haven and Hartford-area communities serviced by the Metropolitan District Commission, as well as projects in Norwich, Ridgefield, Litchfield, West Haven and Plainfield.

“The projects on this list, infused with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help our cities and towns to properly manage and treat their wastewater, and in turn help make our waterways cleaner,” Lamont said in a statement. “These projects will also mobilize many good-paying jobs and strengthen supply chains as construction gets underway.”

“Properly managing our wastewater and ensuring we have sufficient infrastructure to do so is an essential part of being good stewards of our environment,” said Katie Dykes, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in a joint statement. “These projects will help to keep our waterways clean and contribute to the beauty and health of our natural resources and the incredible quality of life we enjoy in Connecticut.”

Dykes and Lamont praised the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. “Not only will these projects improve wastewater management systems across the state and protect our state’s waterways, they will also create good construction jobs for Connecticut residents,” said the state’s congressional delegation.

Included in the funding is $10 million to complete a project to remove nitrogen from waste water at New Haven’s Water Pollution Control Facility; $75 million to address storm and sanitary sewers lines in New Haven’s Orchard Street, Yale and Trumbull Street neighborhoods as well as the East Street pump station; $38 million to replace an outfall line at the West Haven sewage plant; and $7 million to upgrade the Litchfield plant.

Ten million dollars has been approved to permanently close a small sewage treatment facility in Ridgefield, DEEP officials said.

The largest single award will be $156 million for an upgrade of Norwich’s Water Pollution Control Facility, although in aggregate, the MDA will receive more funding: a total of $279 million for projects in Hartford, East Hartford and Rocky Hill.

State Rep. Joe Gresko, D-Stratford, co-chairman of the legislative Environment Committee, said Tuesday that he is hoping that Stratford and Bridgeport can soon get in line for funding. He noted that Bridgeport’s West End facility, where storm water from combined sanitary and storm sewage result in overflows into Black Rock Harbor and nearby Ash Creek, are responsible for nearby beach closures.

The West End plant in Bridgeport is currently in the design phase for upgrades and is likely to become eligible for funding during the 2024-2025 cycle.

“When they did the upgrade to the Stratford plant in the early 2000s, there was never an emergency relief valve installed,” Gresko said of the town treatment facility, located at the base of Birdseye Street on the Housatonic River.

Cities and towns may submit applications for reserve funds through the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

kdixon@ctpost.com Twitter: @KenDixonCT