The Water & Sewer Authority’s (WSA) consulting engineers have been researching the technical aspects and costs involved in increasing the capacity of the Sandy Hook sanitary sewage pumping station to meet the growing wastewater disposal requirements of that area.
Fred Hurley, town public works director, said November 12 that representatives of the civil engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill were scheduled to meet this week with companies that manufacture pumps as part of their research.
Mr Hurley told WSA members on November 8 he expects that a Fuss & O’Neill report on the topic will be ready for WSA review by December 13.
The Sandy Hook sewage pumping station is located at 5-A Glen Road in Sandy Hook Center. The three other pump stations in the central sewer district are located at 47-A Hanover Road, 33-A Taunton Lake Drive, and 17-A Baldwin Road. The Sandy Hook station is in a commercial area, with the other three stations located in residential settings.
Mr Hurley said he expects that the Sandy Hook station will need to increase its pumping capacity by roughly 50 percent to cover the wastewater disposal demands of new development, plus provide a safety margin in the station’s operation.
Mr Hurley noted that twice in the past that pump station almost overflowed with wastewater. In one case, the Newtown High School swimming pool was drained and all the pool water rapidly traveled through the sewer system, nearly flooding the pumphouse. In the other case, a major grease blockage in the sewer system was located at Newtown Shopping Village at 5 Queen Street, and when the blockage was cleared, a great volume of wastewater traveled through the sewer system, again nearly flooding the pumphouse.
Each pump station contains two pumps, one of which typically is in use, with the other serving as a spare that is used when needed.
An expanded pumping capacity would handle the additional flows that would be created by both proposed and planned multifamily construction and by the historic mills that have been converted into office buildings at 27 Glen Road and 75 Glen Road.
The Fuss & O’Neill engineering study will address topics including hydraulics calculations, a review of data on extreme wastewater flow situations, pump performance data, and how to best reduce peak wastewater flows.
Due to the varied topography of the central sewer district, there are gravity-powered sewers and pressurized sewers. Gravity sewers allow wastewater to drain downward to pump stations where the wastewater is then pressurized and directed upward via force mains to the sewage treatment plant at Commerce Road.
The town started operation of the central sewer system in 1997 at the urging of state environmental officials to resolve longstanding groundwater pollution problems caused by many failing septic systems.
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