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Town pays fine for sewer leak

Corroded pipe let small amount sewage into Krumkill in May

— The Town of Bethlehem has paid a fine to the state Department of Environmental Conservation after an unexpected sewer leak.

The DEC fined the town $1,000 after a small amount of sewage leaked into Krumkill Creek on May 4. The fine was negotiated with the DEC by the town’s attorney and a consent order was approved by the Town Board in executive session on June 12.

Town Director of Public Works Erik Deyoe said the town was first notified of the sewer leak on Krumkill Road through a police dispatch. He said a crew from the DPW’s Field Operations Unit was immediately sent to respond to the call and found a minor leak in the pressure main there.

“We called the utilities in to come and mark their lines and that took several hours,” he said. “By the time that was done it was dark and we couldn’t work at night. The repair was fixed by noon the next morning.”

Deyoe said crews were unaware that any of the sewage had leaked into the creek, because the sewage went through a pipe and into a separate area that led to the creek. If the leak had been spotted making its way to the creek, Deyoe said a crew would have made an effort to cut it off.

A resident made the initial call to the DEC after witnessing the leak. The town was cited for a violation to the state’s conservation law for allowing sewage discharge to run into a stream.

Deyoe said although the problem has been fixed, crews are still keeping an eye on the area. He said the leak occurred because of corrosion, and a small hole appeared in the pressure main.

“(It is) pressurized sewer, so when the pumps kick on ... there’s a lot of force to contend with,” he said.

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