A Halloween storm in Vermont spurred the release of a little more than 4.7 million gal of untreated storm water into the state’s waterways.
More than 4.7 million gal of untreated storm water flowed into Vermont streams, rivers and lakes after a Halloween storm.
The Halloween storm caused 33 combined sewer overflows in eight different municipalities. Most of the storm water was rainwater, according to WCAX3.
"When people think about how much rain fell over a 14-hour period, it really was substantial," said Megan Moir, head of Water Resources in Burlington.
Vemont’s wastewater treatment plant processed 34 million gal of combined sewage and rainwater during the course of the storm. This is 2 million gal less than what was caught during Storm Irene, reported WCAX3.
Nevertheless, state officials say many treatment facilities performed accordingly based on the severity of the conditions.
"It certainly is not an insignificant volume, but it's not a super high volume," said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Emily Boedecker to WCAX3. "I think that means we've had a lower incidence of actual wastewater going out."
Burlington is looking at other ways to keep up with the water and to keep it out of pipes for longer. There is also work to be done to slow down the water in natural sponges, such as creating floodplains, catch basins and other infrastructure.
State officials are asking residents to take an active role in mitigating the issue as well. Some communities are creating projects designed to capture and hold water to allow it to filter more slowly. People at home are encouraged to taking shorter showers during heavy storms and to monitor water usage.
"This is a substantial investment,” Boedecker said.” It's not something you can change overnight.".