Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Multifaceted sewer improvements program eliminates sewer connection moratorium and system overflows

The sewer system serving Borough of Jewett City, Connecticut dates from the late 1800’s and was originally constructed as a combined sewer system with the discharges directed to the area rivers. In the 1970’s, the raw sewage discharges from the Borough system were removed from the rivers and redirected to a newly constructed wastewater treatment facility. However, the overflows from the collection system still remained active, discharging excess flows as combined sewer overflows during storm events. Despite some efforts during the 1980s to separate the combined sewers, there were still several overflows that remained active in most storm events. As a result, in 1989, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection imposed a moratorium on new connections to the sewer system, and issued an administrative order that required the Borough to undertake the necessary steps to eliminate the overflows. An extensive program of field investigations and analysis of the collection system characteristics and condition resulted in development of a phased program of multi-faceted improvements which allowed the Borough to ultimately eliminate the overflows and lift the moratorium.

The system rehabilitation program has been constructed in four phases over a ten year period, with the first three phases focused on sewer separation and rehabilitation and the last phase involving construction of a replacement wastewater treatment and flow equalization facilities. The implementation of the program has successfully reduced inflow and infiltration in the collection system and has been successful in eliminating the sanitary sewer overflows entirely. The program has been successful due to the multifaceted approach used to address the problem: removal of identified inflow sources, rehabilitation and sealing of the collection system components, and provision of storm flow equalization at the plant allowing the overflows to be permanently eliminated. The implementation of the program has improved water quality in the area through construction of a new treatment facility providing nutrient removal, and by the elimination of overflows to the Quinebaug and Pachaug Rivers. This in turn, resulted in lifting of the moratorium on connections to the system, allowing the Borough to provide sewer extensions to attract new growth to the area.

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