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The City of Westfield is currently upgrading its Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) to expand the capacity of the plant to treat future wastewater flows and loadings from the City of Westfield and portions of adjacent communities. This upgrade and expansion has been under construction since October 2002. The existing facility is authorized to discharge to the Westfield River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

In an effort to address a specific provision stated in the NPDES permit, two fish passage studies were conducted in 2002 and 2004. The provision stated that the City of Westfield was required to conduct a fish tagging study in an attempt to determine the effect of the WPCP wastewater discharge on fish migration in the Westfield River. The study required tagging and tracking of at least 20 American shad (ALOSA SAPIDISSIMA) during both a low flow period and a high flow period. In response to the requirements, the City of Westfield engaged Metcalf & Eddy (M&E) to tag American shad with radio transmitters. Tagged fish were released approximately seven miles below the discharge of the WPCP; fish movement was then monitored through the use of radio telemetry. This is believed to be the first fish tagging study conducted to address a wastewater discharge effects in New England. Other communities facing more stringent effluent limits on treated wastewater discharges may be required to conduct similar studies in the future in response to permit requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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