Tests Results Are Encouraging After Southington Chemical Spill

The results from the first round of tests after the 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company in Southington are encouraging, according to officials.

Officials have been investigating since 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. 

“We had some preliminary tests that showed that we had a couple areas that were clean,” David Poynton, the emergency response coordinator for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said.

It's not clear how much of material escaped because the chemicals mixed with water, according to Fire Chief Harold Leak. 

Officials from DEEP have been testing the water, soil and air in the area continuously since the spill to ensure the chemical hasn’t contaminated it. 

This weekend, officials are hoping to have results from the samples of the Quinnipiac River and the sediment at the bottom of the river, where some of the chemicals might have settled. 

Once that information is in, officials will determine whether the amount of remaining material, if any, is high enough to warrant a plan for removal or small enough to leave in place. 

In the meantime, officials from DEEP are still advising the public against fishing in the Quinnipiac River and to catch and release anything caught in the area of Spring Street and South Main Street. 

DEEP also said it has stopped the flow of some catch basins and is pumping water around the spill area so that any chemicals that might remain in the piping system won’t be spread any further.

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