This past weekend nearly 700,000 gallons of partially treated sewage was released into Lake Champlain and city officials are calling it a biological error
The rainfall from Friday night’s thunderstorms caused strain on the waste water treatment facility and the biological organisms that eat the contaminates in the waste water before releasing it into the lake.
According to Chapin Spencer the Director of Public Works in Burlington, recent sewage release from area businesses have put a strain on the biological processes within the system, which compounded the issue when the excessive rain fall occurred on Friday.
On a dry day the facility treats 3 to 4 million gallons of waste water before releasing it into Lake Champlain.
“So the stressed biological processes here in the plant behind be was not able to process the waste completely and with the storm event that happened, with the storm water coming into the plant, pushed the water through the process and we had water leave the waste water treatment plant with a high E.coli level,” said Spencer.
Spencer says his team has been testing the E.coli levels in the lake on a daily bases and they have lowered to an acceptable level at this point.
He says that they are working with area businesses to potentially pretreat the sewage before it makes it to the plant… Lessening the strain on the microorganisms.