The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission services approximately 37,200 sewer accounts. The sewer collection system consists of 151 miles of combined sewer (sewer and stormwater), 310 miles of separated sewer, 23 combined sewer overflow outfalls, 11,000 manholes, and 33 pumping stations. Wastewater is conveyed to the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (SRWTF) located on Bondi’s Island off Route 5 in Agawam.
The SRWTF treats wastewater from the households, businesses, and industries within Springfield and surrounding member communities, including Agawam, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Wilbraham, West Springfield, and a small section of Chicopee. The SRWTF is designed to treat up to 67 million gallons of wastewater per day. Currently, a daily average of 40-42 million gallons of wastewater is cleaned, treated, and returned to the Connecticut River. The SRWTF is the second largest treatment facility in New England.
The SRWTF is owned by the Commission and is currently operated and maintained by SUEZ Water Environmental Services, Inc. under a twenty-year Service Agreement with the Commission. Treatment consists of two major steps: primary treatment and secondary treatment. During the primary treatment stage, sand, grit, and solids are removed from the untreated sewage. The secondary treatment phase uses bacteria to further break down the dissolved solids, which produces sludge. The treated wastewater is then separated from the sludge and cleansed and disinfected before being released into the Connecticut River in compliance with the facility’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by the USEPA and MADEP. SUEZ Water Environmental Services, Inc. is responsible for the biological treatment, disinfection and chlorination of the wastewater that flows through the plant.
Effluent flow to the Connecticut River is tested and monitored daily at the facility’s on-site state certified testing laboratory to ensure that required permit limitations are not exceeded and the water can be discharged safely to the Connecticut River without harming the environment. The solids, or sludge, resulting from the treatment process are trucked to Municipal Solid Waste Landfills for disposal.
If you would like more information about how wastewater is treated in our community, please contact the SRWTF at 413-732-6501.
Bondi’s Island…The History Behind the Name
From his native Italy, Luigi Bondi came to Springfield with his wife and children in the late 1800’s. With a successful venture in the produce business under his belt, he started acquiring land in and around Springfield. He purchased an Island (Bondi’s Island) on the Connecticut River in 1889 for $100.00. It was common practice in those days to measure real estate in approximations to local landmarks, unfortunately landmarks change as time goes on so it is not known for certain where the original Bondi’s Island lies. Speculation and local lore has the Island under the west end of the memorial bridge. So why is the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (SRWTF) nicknamed “Bondi’s Island” Locals have said that Luigi Bondi also purchased land in West Springfield surrounded on three sides by water the (Connecticut and Agawam Rivers). These plots of land are guessed to be what was known as Big Island and Hermit Island. Hermit Island was also known to some as Little Island or Cambell’s Island. He had peach trees on the island for his produce business and had plans to make a recreation area one day. As time went on, the course of the river may have changed or branches may have been filled in or dried up and the two islands became one. This is the plot of land that Luigi was said to have purchased and is the current location of the SRWTF.
The first wastewater treatment plant was built in 1938-39 and at the time, was a state-of-the-art primary treatment plant that contributed greatly to the quality of the Connecticut and Chicopee rivers. However, it was not until 1960 that the sewage generated in Springfield went to the treatment facility.
In 1968, the land northwest of the treatment plant started being used as a landfill, and by now more of the water being treated at the treatment plant was coming from surrounding communities. As a result of the 1972 Clean Water Act and increased demand being placed on the treatment plant, a new state-of-the-art regional secondary wastewater treatment facility (the SRWTF) was put online in 1977.
Since 1988, five other waste management facilities have been established on Bondi’s Island. This is a far cry from the recreational park Luigi Bondi had envisioned a century ago, but it is hoped he would advocate the use of his land as a center of environmental protection.