Seymour sewage spill could impact Sound

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: First Selectman Kurt Miller said Seymour is assessing its options following the manhole collapse that caused sewage to spill into the Naugatuck River Wednesday.

According to Miller, the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority is working with Veolia Water Co., the emergency service providers, to work out a repair plan.

The manhole, which provided access to a sewer line running under the river, collapsed on Christmas Day. Debris from the collapse broke the sewer line, sending between 100 and 200 gallons of sewage per minute into the river.

Currently the line is deactivated, Miller said. The Seymour wastewater treatment plant was not affected by the break and continues to operate. The sewage that would normally have been carried through the broken line has been diverted to other lines. Veolia also has a truck stationed at the broken manhole to transport sewage to the wastewater treatment facility.

More information when available.

UPDATE 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:

“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).”

More information when available.

UPDATE 10 a.m.: Work crews have stopped the sewage leak that dumped about 150,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Naugatuck River. Now the effort is underway to repair the broken line.

According to Paul Whitmore, a spokesman for Veolia Water, which provides emergency coverage for the Seymour sewage treatment facility, the break occurred in a siphon line next to an active Metro North railroad crossing near the Kinny Town Dam. 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.”

According to the 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 with sandbags, but it is unclear how successful those efforts were.

According to the United States 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 merges with the Housatonic River in Derby and then flows south before emptying into the Long Island Sound between Stratford and Milford.

More information when available. Original story continues below.

ORIGINAL STORY: According to news reports, thousands of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Naugatuck River after a siphon carrying the wastewater ruptured on the river’s edge in Seymour.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Thursday that 100 to 200 gallons of wastewater a minute were flowing into the river.

The Republican-American reports that DEEP spokesperson Cyndy Chanaca says town crews cleaned debris inside the pipe and built a dam of sandbags to contain the spill. The cause is being investigated.