News Releases from Region 01
City of Derby, Conn. Will Take Steps to Stop Sewage Discharges to Rivers under EPA Order
BOSTON – The City of Derby, Conn. has agreed to sign an order from the Environmental Protection Agency and to make changes to limit future sewer overflows.
According to EPA's New England office, since June 2, 2011, on at least four occasions, the City discharged untreated sewage from its sewer system to the Naugatuck River or to the Housatonic River. The order requires that, in order to prevent future overflows, known as sanitary sewer overflows or SSOs, the City will re-evaluate and revise its operation and maintenance practices.
An assessment done by the City as required in the order will evaluate the condition of its sewer system and operational practices. Based on that assessment, the City will create a plan with a schedule for putting in place infrastructure improvements and operational changes to limit further overflows.
Reports completed under the order will let EPA and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) monitor the City's progress on controlling overflows. Finally, a manual, known as The Capacity, Management, Operations Program Manual will establish operational standards for City personnel and a benchmark against which the City's future performance can be measured.
Sewage discharges can carry bacteria, viruses, parasitic organisms, intestinal worms and molds and fungi. The diseases they may cause range in severity from mild gastroenteritis, causing stomach cramps and diarrhea, to life-threatening ailments such as cholera, dysentery, infectious hepatitis, and severe gastroenteritis. People can be exposed to such diseases through direct contact while engaged in swimming and other water uses in which there is prolonged contact with the water or where there is a significant risk of ingestion of water.
The City has worked cooperatively with EPA and CT DEEP in negotiating this settlement.
"Under this Order, the City of Derby will undertake important work to eliminate unauthorized discharges of sewage to the Naugatuck River and the Housatonic River. This is important to ensure that the rivers can support peoples' recreation enjoyment in the area without causing adverse health effects," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office.