Weekend Sewage Overflows In Rutland And Burlington

Sep 12, 2016

Heavy rain Saturday night led to three sewage overflows in Rutland and one in Burlington in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Officials in both cities reported the overflows to state regulators Sunday.

The overflows are caused by sewage systems that are designed to collect and treat stormwater as well. When heavy rains dump water into the systems, they can become overloaded. In those systems, the only solution to prevent sewage from backing up into homes and businesses is to let the sewage and stormwater overflow.

State officials allow the spills, but they are trying to get cities to make investments to prevent them by directing stormwater flows away from pipes that handle sewage.

The Rutland overflows dumped between 40,000 and 400,000 gallons of polluted stormwater and sewage into nearby streams, according to the state’s online sewage reporting website.

Burlington's overflow dumped between 1,000 and 10,000 gallons into the Pine Street Barge Canal, records show.