Wastewater treatment plants report 8M gallons in overflows

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Along with the pain caused by flooded homes and roads across Vermont, it's also been a rough 24 hours for municipal regional wastewater treatment plants stretched past their limits.

Montpelier's wastewater plant on the Winooski River was one of numerous plants that reported combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, caused by the weather and spring runoff conditions.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources reported dozens of overflows at facilities totaling nearly 8 million gallons of combined wastewater and stormwater for Monday alone.

Rutland, with its aging infrastructure, was particularly hard hit. Other areas included St. Johnsbury, Hardwick. Proctor, Fair Haven and Wallingford.

"The cause of most of these events seems to be the combination of intense rainfall, with snowmelt and saturated soils, and all of that water in the combined systems reaching the facilities," said Chris Gianfagna with the Vt. Agency of Natural Resources.

"So this is over the last week-and-a-half -- our flows normally average -- daily flow at the treatment plant is about 2 million gallons. For the week last week-and-a-half we've been at over 6 million gallons," said Tom McArdle with Montpelier Public Works.

McArdle says they have taken a number of steps over the years to separate most of the overflow related to stormwater in pipes that contribute to CSOs. One of the next big steps includes rerouting water from flat rooftops, which accounts for more than 8 acres in the Montpelier system.