Power outage at Northampton Wastewater Treatment Plant causes discharge into Conn. River

Hampshire County
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A power outage at the Northampton Wastewater Treatment Plant caused treated sewage to be discharged into the Connecticut River early Saturday morning. 

Northampton Department of Public Works Donna LaScaleia told 22News, Friday’s severe weather affected the plant’s treatment process and caused electrical and mechanical failure resulting in the discharge to the river. 

LaScaleia said the primary treated sewage discharged just before 5 a.m. at the Old Mill River bed which discharges to the river. The discharge is not recoverable. 

As of Saturday evening, there was no further discharge

The Department of Public Works also advised residents Saturday to wait at least 48 hours before swimming in the river downstream of the plant. 

LaScalieia said disinfection has been restored to the plant, and crews are continuing to work to fully restore all treatment processes as soon as possible. 

She said upgrades to the plant disinfection valued at $1.5 million were recently completed, and electrical and HVAC upgrades valued between $10 to $12 million are anticipated for 2019 to 2020.

The Department of Public Works is also working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to ensure appropriate communication, remedial action, and regulatory compliance. 

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