At approximately 7:00 a.m. on February 17, 2021, the Water and Sewer Division operations staff was alerted to a high level alarm at the Maple Avenue Sewer Pump Station. Upon arrival, they observed power failure to the building and the emergency generator running properly; however, no power was being transferred to the pumps. They immediately contacted our electrical contractor, who was able to respond within minutes. They also contacted SELCO to restore power to the building. SELCO responded immediately as well and discovered that a squirrel had entered the exterior transformer causing the interruption of power to the building. They were able to quickly resolve this issue and restore power. After investigating the emergency generator power transfer switch, it was discovered that the switch malfunctioned due to a mouse. Unfortunately, the interruption in power caused the station to overflow for approximately 45 minutes at an estimated rate of 1,000 gallons per minute for a total of 45,000 gallons. During the event, the sewerage flowed in a south east direction from the facility. The Town will be conducting water quality testing over the next few days.
The Town of Shrewsbury Sewer Division collects and transports an average of over three million gallons of sewerage each day. Two regional wastewater treatment facilities in neighboring communities provide support for treatment and final disposition of the Town's sewerage. The network of approximately 170 miles of mains and 37 pump stations provides sewer service to a large portion of the Town. Several sewer stations, including the Maple Avenue Pump Station run 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, and handle a large portion of the Town's daily flow. Despite the best efforts of the Water and Sewer Division to maintain this vital infrastructure in a proactive manner, these unfortunate instances can occur.
If you have any questions please contact Dan Rowley, Water and Sewer Superintendent, at Drowley@shrewsburyma.gov.