The department's effort to find a temporary chlorination method for the discharge is "unprecedented," Staples said. "We're looking into any answer we can find," he said.
In the meantime, untreated sewage continues to be discharged into Budds Run, Staples said. The company, which is located on Lemmon Avenue in the rear of the Sunbury Village housing development, has state permits to discharge treated sewage into the creek. Officials were not sure how long the untreated sewage had been flowing from the plant.
Joseph Markowitz, receiver for the company, could not be reached for comment.
One possible source of emergency chlorination could be the township's Municipal Utilities Authority. However, Staples would not say whether the DEP had approached local officials.
In 1980 the DEP ordered Sunbury to connect with the local facility, said Pemberton Township Administrator John Mason. After recent problems at the facility, township officials asked the DEP to enforce the order, Mason said.
Sometime in June, a line leading to the discharge site became stopped up, and as much as 25,000 gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the township's storm-drainage system, Mason said. The sewage ran overland to a ditch leading to Budds Run, the administrator said.
"It became visible, and there were pools of sewerage lying on the ground," Mason said. "It's of great concern to us. In our opinion, (the plant) should be closed, dismantled and what is there should be cleaned up."
The problem with the clogged drainage line was solved when the plant installed a new pump on Saturday, said DEP spokesman George Klenk.