Criscuolo has yet to enter a plea; septic repairs should start soon

Matthew Criscuolo, landlord at 991 Danbury Road, was due in court Tuesday, July 2, following his arrest June 21 for diverting raw sewage into the Norwalk River.

According to court documents, Mr. Criscuolo has a new court date of July 30, when he is expected to enter a plea. He was charged with violating state water pollution controls — statute 22a438(b) — a class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison, a $25,000 fine, or both, according to a report on the Connecticut General Assembly website published Jan. 27, 2012.

The pollution problem at the site dates back to the spring. Mr. Criscuolo was issued a notice of violation April 5 by the Wilton Health Department for sewage that was bubbling up from a manhole cover in the parking lot. Wilton police discovered an automated pump discharging raw sewage from the property’s septic tank into the Norwalk River in the early hours of June 4. Charges were levied June 21.

At the site, where Mr. Criscuolo’s restaurant Toozy Patza Pizza is, work continues on remedying the failed septic system. Wilton Health Director Steven Schole visited the site on June 27 with John F. McCoy VII of JFM Engineering in Danbury and a representative from the state to assess the situation. A repair plan was drawn up, which needs formal approval from the Connecticut Department of Public Health Environmental Engineering Section.

When repairs are approved, the engineer will apply for a septic system permit from the Wilton Health Department, which Mr. Schole said he is ready to issue. With that in place, repairs — which essentially consist of renovating the leaching fields — may proceed.

Mr. Schole said repairs could begin as early as next week, weather permitting.

In the meantime, Mr. Schole said, “The Wilton Health Department is maintaining surveillance of the septic system.” The overflow is being controlled by pumping three days a week, he said.