Fairfield Clean Water Act Action

Location: Fairfield, Connecticut | Status: Active


Poorly maintained sewage collection systems can fall into a state of disrepair and result in chronic sewage spills, impacting the health of Connecticut residents and our shared environment. Under the Sewage Right to Know Law, Fairfield has reported chronic sewage bypasses resulting from disrepair or insufficient capacity. These bypasses result in the discharge of raw sewage into Ash Creek, Rooster River, and Long Island Sound waters surrounding Fairfield and are violations of the Clean Water Act. A significant number of these bypasses are caused by inflow and infiltration in the East Trunk Interceptor Line, which is located in the Rooster River and Ash Creek flood plain. This unstable location makes the line vulnerable to structural defects and complicates access for routine maintenance. The sewer line needs to be relocated outside of this problematic area, which will result in a reduction of sewage bypasses. Relocation and rehabilitation will be conducted in three phases; construction for the first phase (Ash Creek) was scheduled to commence in 2021. Through discussions with Fairfield staff, Save the Sound’s legal team has been tracking routine maintenance and investigations throughout the Fairfield system, as well as progress towards completion of necessary rehabilitation projects like the East Trunk Interceptor Line. In 2021, Fairfield reported eight sewage overflows from its collection system, including three significant overflows during tropical storm Elsa and one 100,000-gallon spill during hurricane Ida, indicating ongoing issues with excess flows during major storm events, which the region will continue to experience due to climate change. Our legal team will continue to track Fairfield’s sewage bypasses and Clean Water Act compliance through the Sewage Right to Know Law reports.

Latest step:

Meeting with Fairfield staff in February 2021 and receipt of documents summarizing project updates.

Next step:

Ongoing review of documents provided by Fairfield staff and sewage overflow data submitted pursuant to Sewage Right to Know Law.

Action opportunities:

Last updated: March 24, 2022

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