SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Floods don’t just ruin your commute to work, they can also contain harmful bacteria and pollutants; and after a summer full of rain, flooding has been an ongoing issue.

This summer we saw flooding all across New England. Aside from the potential property damage associated with the floods, combined sewage overflows or CSOs are a lesser-known danger with serious impacts.

Massachusetts sewage system, constructed before World War Two, uses the same system of pipes for sewage and stormwater. This type of drainage system can cause CSOs when combined with intense rain. This brings to light health effects such as water contamination and algae growth along with the bodily dangers associated with high water.

With a record amount of rainfall this summer, we’ve seen lots of floods. The Connecticut River here is a large proponent of those floods. With those floods, we’ve also seen lots of CSO discharge. Thankfully the city of Springfield is working on a solution.

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission is currently constructing a pumping facility in downtown Springfield, which is set to be completed sometime in the next month. Jaiyme Bartak of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission, tells 22News, “The York Street pump station is designed to convey more combined sewer and stormwater capacity to our wastewater plant across the river and this is going to help reduce the amount of typical CSOs into our waterways by approximately 100 million gallons in a typical year.”

While this pump station won’t completely solve the problem, it’s part of a larger project to improve the near-century-old sewage system currently in place.

The Water and Sewer Commission said this new pump station can pump double the amount of water as the one currently in place which should give Springfield some relief from future extreme weather.

Local News

Jack Wu joined the 22News Storm Team in July 2023. Follow Jack on X @the_jackwu and view his bio to see more of his work.