Sewer Resolution Proposed
March 08, 2003|By CLAUDIA VAN NES; Courant Staff Writer
OLD SAYBROOK -- The town's long dispute with the state over an
unwanted sewer system could end if a new bill becomes law.
The bill, introduced by state Rep. Marilyn Giuliano, R-Old Saybrook,
has broad implications because it would shift power over septic
solutions from the state to communities.
Towns would be allowed to set up wastewater management districts
based on the septic disposal situation in each district. Towns would
base solutions for each district on soil types, population density
and other considerations. The bill also would allow communities, for
the first time, to use new, technologically advanced septic systems
as permitted in neighboring states, but not in Connecticut.
Septic systems with filtration systems that can control 90 percent
or more of the nitrates that reach ground water are used in
neighboring states. Conventional septic systems control only about
For Old Saybrook, which has been under order from the state for 14
years to solve septic problems, the legislation would allow
With a successful lawsuit and careful monitoring of ground water,
the town has kept the DEP from imposing a town-wide sewer system.
With the new technology, the town could fix the septic problems in
its most troubling areas without a conventional community sewer
system, Steve Luckett, the town's water pollution control authority
coordinator, said Friday.
Luckett and the Water Pollution Control Authority have long argued
to little avail for more local control and for permission to use
However, in a reversal, the DEP helped craft the bill with Luckett
and the state Department of Health, a shift both Luckett and
"This would not just benefit Saybrook and other shore communities,
but towns everywhere in the state," Luckett said.
"It would be cost-effective and environmentally sound," Giuliano
said Friday. This is the first bill introduced by Giuliano, a
freshman legislator, she said. "It's a big deal. For the first
time, municipalities would be empowered to solve these problems,"
The bill has received favorable response so far, but is far from
becoming law. Giuliano said she doesn't know how long that may