A major cleanup is underway inside the emergency department at Danbury Hospital after a sludge-like material leaked from a blocked pipe.
The water leak was discovered Sunday evening and forced the hospital to close down about 40 percent of the emergency department, including ten patient treatment rooms and one of two nurse's stations, according to the hospital.
The hospital requested use of the state's 25-bed mobile hospital tent, which was set up overnight in the parking lot outside the emergency department entrance and was operational by Monday morning, according to the hospital.
"So we could start using this as an area to triage patients, initiate care, deem who needed to come emergently into the main department and who could be treated in this area," said Dr. Patrick Broderick, the director of the hospital's emergency department.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton called the material "sludge-like" and said it started leaking from a pipe on the third floor, spilled into a room that wasn't in use, and then flowed down through the walls into the ER.
"The hospital does a lot of its own treatment and then dumps it into our regular sanitary sewer system. That happens in a different part of the building so this material had been slightly treated already," said Boughton.
Cleanup inside the emergency department is moving along quicker than expected, said Dr. Broderick.
They're hoping to move out of the mobile unit by Monday night or Tuesday morning if the patient volume is low enough, he said. The mobile unit will remain in place in case patient volume picks up and it's needed again, he said.
Repairs to about half of the damaged area are expected to be completed by Monday night, said Dr. Broderick. Repairs to much of the additional closed off area should take place on Tuesday, he said.
"We want to make sure that any area that potentially had any damage has been properly cleaned. We have to have all the electrical and computer equipment tested before we would put any patients in that area," said Dr. Broderick.
Inspectors from the city and state health departments are on the scene monitoring patient care and the cleanup process.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com