New Haven CT: The New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority (NHWPCA) seeks to expand its processing capacity at the East Shore Sewage Treatment Plant to accommodate an additional 87 million gallons of effluent caused by storm water rains and Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in it’s system.
Storm water pollution is one of the leading vectors of pollution of Long Island Sound. It is persistent and difficult to capture, especially in our older developed cities.
The current configuration of the East Shore plant can process 40 million gallons daily of sanitary sewer from homes and businesses. The plant can also process up to 100 million gallons of sewage and storm water when inundated by storm water from the city’s CSOs. CSOs dump a great deal of polluted storm water from the streets and hard surfaces into the Sound on extreme flows of water during rain events. Polluted storm water flows into the storm water system (street sewers) where it can overwhelm the weirs in the storm water collection system allowing the effluent to enter the Sound. The current plant configuration can accommodate 100 million gallons of combined sewage from both the sanitary and storm water systems, however increasing heavy rains often overload the existing system.
The proposed plant expansion at East Shore would cost up to 168million dollars and may well help water quality to some extent. Despite the proposed expansion of the system, Soundkeeper urges the City of New Haven to increase efforts to introduce green development and low impact development techniques.
The NHWPCA is now in phase one of the state permitting process and has held two public meetings. From Soundkeeper’s perspective such a project could improve water quality for residents who swim and boat on the Sound or for companies who harvest shellfish in the general area.