Wastewater from plant not an option

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NAUGATUCK — The board that oversees the borough’s wastewater treatment plant is asking a company proposing a power plant in Oxford to avoid sending its wastewater to Naugatuck.

Massachusetts-based Competitive Power Ventures, which has proposed an 805-megawatt duel-fuel power generating facility in Oxford, has an application pending before the Naugatuck Water Pollution Control Authority asking to emit storm water and other discharge to the wastewater treatment plant on Cherry Street. The board says it tries to avoid taking in storm water and spends millions of dollars a year to prevent storm water from entering the plant.

Jim Stewart, the borough’s director of public works and the engineer for the WPCA, said he met with CPV representatives last week and asked them to find an alternative way to take wastewater off their proposed site in the Oxford Industrial Park, near the borders of Naugatuck and Middlebury.

“We’ve asked them to deal with it on site,” he said. “Everyone that I’m aware of deals with it on site. I’ve told them that if there is a reason they cannot deal with it on site to let us know, and we will discuss it.”

A representative for CPV could not be reached for comment.

Stewart said other industries have oil/water separators on site and that they send the excess water into a retention pond, which then goes into streams. He said he is not sure why CPV wants to send its storm water to the local wastewater treatment plant, which services Oxford businesses and residents through a contractual agreement between the municipalities.

CPV will come before the WPCA on April 16 to discuss the application. Borough attorney Edward “Ned” Fitzpatrick said he expects the company will bring forth a proposal that complies with the WPCA’s request.

The WPCA initially approved the project in August, before CPV filed a new application before the Connecticut Siting Council to modify a plan approved in 1999 that called for a 512-megawatt power plant. WPCA then became an intervener in the project through the Siting Council so it can ask questions through the borough attorney’s office.

In January, borough officials said they didn’t know all the facts about the new proposal in August and that further study and evaluation should be done, so WPCA rescinded its initial vote.

CPV Project Manager Andrew Bazinet told the WPCA in August that the project would bring between 7,500 gallons to 38,160 gallons of water per day. Now the plan calls for 6,480 gallons per day. The storm water would be processed through an oil/water separator before going to the sewer, Bazinet told the board.