PITTSFIELD -- City crews believe they've pinpointed the source of a sewage leak that found its way into a storm drain pipe that empties into Silver Lake.
Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood said the leak, which had prompted reports to his department from a resident and an email to The Eagle, apparently emanated from a sewer connection to a property on Brown Street that had been cut off at some point but not securely capped.
Sewage periodically flowed from the main line out through the severed line, he said, then seeped into the ground, but only during peak flow periods.
The sewage eventually made its way to a nearby storm drain and began flowing periodically into the lake.
Although Silver Lake is in a hazardous industrial waste cleanup site on former GE property off East Street, "we take something like this seriously," Collingwood said. "This would be with any body of water."
City crews had traced the leak upstream to the site where a contractor had been doing drilling work for Berkshire Gas Co., Collingwood said, but although the drill had entered a storm drain it had not cut into the sewer line. However, that hole was repaired this week.
He said crews then looked further along Brown Street and found the leak problem at the severed connection line. A contractor now will be hired to send a camera through the area of pipe, Collingwood said, to ensure all the damage has been identified.
The city has a similar camera but it is too large to fit into that section of line, he said. The commissioner added that many city sewer lines are old and some are made from materials that could easily develop cracks or leaks.
"Kudos to my guys for tracking this down," he said.
To reach Jim Therrien:
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