Vermont environmental regulators have levied a $12,000 fine on the Town of Brandon for discharging more than 3 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Neshobe River.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources also said the town failed to file a timely report of incident, which occurred on February 22, 2018.
Brandon is one of 92 Vermont municipalities with a wastewater treatment plant. According to ANR, the plant’s alarm was ‘nonfunctioning’ at the time, delaying notification that there was a problem
Operators began an investigation after high water backed up into the plant, disrupting the treatment process. But they did not notify the Department of Environmental Conservation until March 6, 2018, after discovering a rupture in the sewer line under the Neshobe River.
Operators are required to report violations of state wastewater discharge permits within 24 hours.
The sewer pipe was installed decades ago and last inspected sometime between 2011 and 2013, ANR said, and the break was likely caused by erosion and river migration.
The pipe was repaired by the next day.