Amanda Raus, Jon Wardle
The people living on Circle Drive say construction site blasting has damaged the pond behind their homes.
A Stratford dam has been damaged and deemed unsafe, and now residents of Circle Drive look out over an empty, smelly pond.
They're not happy about it.
“It's gross. It's beginning to smell because a lot of fish are dead, and it's terrible,” said Alberto Caraballo.
Cook's Pond was drained after problems arose with the dam that controls the water. It's been damaged, and officials are trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it.
The dam is on private property, and its owner contacted the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection when he noticed an issue last week.
“I said yes, lower it, we'll get out there as soon as we can. We'll do an inspection," said DEEP Supervising Civil Engineer Arthur Christian. "We don't know what happens if it were to fail.”
Neighbors believe the damage is a result of blasting in the area. Crews have been working on nearby Cutspring Road to build an AvalonBay apartment complex.
“They are doing it properly. They have the seismographs there. They have the Fire Marshal witnessing it. They are local to the blast. The problem that I see is that people are claiming there are cracks to the dam, their houses, they're not monitoring with seismographs in that area which I think they should,” said Ralph Grasso, who is building a home on Circle Drive.
DEEP authorized the owner to drain the dam last week. Officials will investigate on Tuesday to evaluate the cause of the damage and the nature of the repairs it will require.
Once officials determine the cause, the next step is to come up with a plan to fix it.
a cause is determined, the next thing would be a plan of action to fix the problem. But neighbors, whose backyards are now full of mud, say their worried they'll have to pay.
“If this is $50 to $100,000 to fix, I think it's going to be a significant issue,” said Grasso.
Stratford Conservation Administrator Brian Carey told the town Patch on Thursday, "The dam has been in poor condition for years. There is no evidence that AvalonBay caused any further damage to the dam. The pond was drained as precaution under the authority of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection until their dam inspection unit can come down to the site and inspect the dam."
An AvalonBay representative said the company agreed with Carey’s assessment.