Cleanup of Southington Chemical Spill in ‘Final Phases': FD Chief

Southington fire officials said they are in the "final phases" of cleanup efforts for a 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company last week.

"We've captured all that we'll be able to capture," Chief Harold Clark of the Southington Fire Department said in a press conference on Monday. 

Officials have been investigating since last Wednesday morning, when hexavalent chromium discharged from the roof vents of the Light Metals Coloring company on Spring Street and said they have recovered all material that they can recover. 

Southington fire officials said the spill might have happened because of a crack in a heating water jacket and an overfilled boiler, which forced a pressure release. 

Clark said the fire department is about ready to turn over the rest of the cleanup and inspection to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

As of Monday, all tests for pollutants in the Quinnipiac River have come up negative or "non-detected", Clark said. The chief noted that Connecticut's dry summer could've contributed to chemicals not getting into the river. 

"(The dryness) stopped the flow of water in the storm drains," Clark said. "We didn't have a lot of flow into the Quinnnipaic River."

However, roads in the area that were excavated when the spill first happened have come up positive for pollutants. Clark said crews will continue to test and dig up any area that still has traces of the chemicals. 

Since the spill, the roof of the company has been replaced and the inside of the storm drain system has been power washed, Clark said. 

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