Officials: Swimming areas in Westport, Norwalk, Fairfield remain closedPosted: Updated:
Swimming areas in Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield were closed Monday after thousands of gallons of sewage spilled into the Saugatuck River.
The spill happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Officials say there was a ruptured sewer main on the west shore of the river in Westport.
The director of Public Works tells News 12 they began working to stop the leak immediately by turning off the pumps at 2 p.m., and were able to bypass the sewage by 8:30 p.m.
Officials say a brand-new sewer line was running under the river bed at the time of the rupture, and that new pumps were in the process of being installed. State environmental officials say an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 gallons of sewage went into the water, while town officials say that number is lower. Town officials, however, say their estimate is between 16,000 to 20,000.
Officials say temporary pumps are in place right now. They say it's protocol for swimming areas to be closed for 24 hours following a spill.
Swimming at all beaches in Westport, including Sherwood Island State Park, and in Norwalk and Fairfield will remain closed until state environmental officials get results from tests that will show if the water is safe.
State officials say the water isn't safe for swimming or any water sports. They say that people shouldn't touch the water at all.
Owners of business like Down Under, a kayak and paddle board retail shop, say the spill has shut them down.
Manager Karen Jewell says they have lost thousands of dollars and they also need to get their rental equipment clean and sanitized.
Officials say the water will eventually flush itself out with the tide. The water test results are expected on Tuesday.
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