[Updated] Sewage Spill Closes Stamford Harbor to Fishing

The spill, called "sizable," by officials, should keep the harbor closed to fishing until possibly as late as October 26.


At approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday, a "sizable" sewage spill of as-yet unknown origins occurred in the Stamford Harbor, Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski reported that afternoon.

The Stamford Fire Department initially responded to reports that a slick had been spotted on the water and determined it to be sewage, Jankowski said. At that point, the Health Department, DEEP, EPA and Coast Guard were all notified of the incident, he said.

Initial investigations of the incident resulted in the determination that the spill was illegal in origin. Stamford Police assisted in an investigation into the WPCA's catch basins and operating systems, and Jankowski said it was determined the spill did not originate from the facility.

"Although the source of the contaminant remains under investigation, David Poynton, Emergency Response Coordinator II from the DEEP, has made the determination that the sewage product did not originate from the WPCA," according to a statement released by Mayor Michael Pavia's office.

Police are currently checking video cameras in the area to gather additional information on what occurred in the area during the incident, according to Jankowski. The Office of Operations is also looking into the sewer systems, he said. 

Jankowski said DEEP recommended not fishing in the channel for at least five days, stating the situation would undergo remediation naturally.

"The terminology is natural attenuation," Jankowski said. "There should be no fishing in the channel until Tuesday, when several tides have had time carry the debris away."

That time-frame was extended Friday afternoon, with officials citing recommendation from DEEP that they would prohibit fishing until at least the following Friday, but that the restriction could possibly be in effect until Oct. 26th.

Jankowski said the spill could not be reasonably measured, but called it "sizable."


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