DPW Statement on Wastewater Treatment Plant Discharge
Details on Recent Improvements to the Wastewater & Stormwater System
On Saturday June 18th at approximately 8PM, treated effluent was discharged from Main Wastewater Treatment Plant. This treated effluent was only partially disinfected and therefore may not have met our permit requirements. Given the recent significant upgrades to all 3 Burlington wastewater treatment plants in 2021, and in the interest of public transparency we want to share this update with the community. Out of an abundance of caution and to comply with state requirements, we have posted all public access points* within 1 mile of the discharge to discourage recreation in the water and are underway with sampling.
We believe one of our automated pumps erroneously shut down for part of the day – possibly due to high winds. With the evening rains and higher than average flows, this is possibly what led to the discharge. Regardless, we are underway with an investigation to determine what mechanical and process improvements must be made.
The community entrusted us in 2018 with support for the Clean Water Resiliency Plan. The City has invested millions of dollars already in key upgrades that have led to significant improvements – which include major Plant upgrades, a significant green stormwater infrastructure upgrade above the Pine CSO (combined sewer overflow) which has likely contributed to our current 0 Pine CSO's for the year, 2 major pump station improvements and we are under contract for 8 miles of sewer and storm line repair this year.
While any one gallon of imperfect discharge is too much, we are underway with a significant improvement to our system and that work will continue.
*Access points within one mile of the discharge include Oakledge Cove, Blanchard Beach, Blodgett access point, Perkins Pier boat ramp & the Coast guard boat ramp.
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