Derby Could Face Fines Over Sewage Spills

More than 300,000 gallons of raw sewage have spilled into the Housatonic River

A wastewater pump station in Derby has spilled more than 300,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Housatonic River this year, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The pump station, located on Roosevelt Drive, failed four times in the past few months.

“The problem is it's a very old pump station.  I believe it's from the 60s, and it hasn't been upgraded,” said Brian Capozzi, Shift Operator at the Derby Water Pollution Control Facility.

In a letter to the City, DEEP said if the problem wasn’t corrected, the City could face fines of $25,000 per day.

Derby's Water Pollution Control Facility found a temporary fix that has been in place for about a month and a half.  A new grinder was installed, and since then, there haven't been leaks like before.

“A lot of rags and debris would get flushed down the toilet and come into the pump station, and they clog pumps.  A grinder sits there and grinds them into smaller pieces to go through the pumps and not clog the pumps,” said Capozzi.

Derby is still looking at a long-term fix and is in the beginning stages of putting in a whole new pump station.

“The engineers have designed it.  Now, they're thinking about changing the location of it, so they need to purchase the land and get approvals to move forward with it,” Capozzi said.

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