West Springfield clogged sewer main spilling over near Westfield River

While not flowing directly into the river, the waste water is pouring down an embankment only 260 feet away from the river.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A clogged sewer main in West Springfield is proving to be a challenge for DPW workers.

A manhole near the railroad tracks above the Westfield River in Mittineague Park has been overflowing since Wednesday. While not flowing directly into the river, the waste water is pouring down an embankment only 260 feet away from the river.

According to West Springfield DPW supervisor Bill Guevremont, rocks, wood and other natural debris, as well as sewage waste, has created a structure within a pipe, resulting in a stubborn clog."We punched a hole in it a couple of times. We got about 25% flow but the structure does not want to collapse like it normally does when we use the jetter," said Guevremont.

The isolated location of the spill is creating problems. Workers are setting up equipment in the woods and have to run hoses over the railroad tracks, owned by CSX. They also have to clear the equipment from tracks each time a train comes, creating more delays.


STATEMENT: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) spokesperson Edmund Coletta:

"Today, MassDEP was informed of a wastewater discharge in West Springfield from a manhole near the CSX Railway tracks and flowing into the nearby Westfield River. The sewer line is owned and operated by the Town of West Springfield, and the town is required to make repairs to the line and eliminate the discharge as quickly as possible.

When notified of the discharge, MassDEP required West Springfield to notify Board of Health officials in downstream communities, as required in their permit. MassDEP has also notified the mayor’s offices and town administrator’s offices in downstream communities, officials at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and two local watershed associations.

Since there are no drinking water intakes in the Westfield River downstream of the spill site, no impacts to the drinking water supply are expected and public water suppliers are required to regularly test their water quality for bacteria and a host of other potential contaminants. MassDEP will work with local officials to determine the root cause of the incident in order to prevent it from occurring again in the future. Any additional questions should be referred to the Town of West Springfield."

STATEMENT: CSX railroad company spokesperson Christopher Smith:

"CSX is working directly with city workers and first responders in West Springfield, Mass., where a city water line was overflowing very close to CSX property. Safety is our top priority. We will continue coordinating with and assisting city crews until the issue is safely resolved."

STATEMENT: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesperson Dave Deegan:   

"EPA is aware of the clogged pipe resulting in sewage overflow into the Westfield River. EPA is working closely with the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection to investigate and understand the circumstances that led to this situation, and to ensure it is resolved as quickly as possible. Once all the facts are known, EPA will consult with Mass. DEP on what the appropriate response should be."

Mittineague Park Rd, West Springfield, MA 01089

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