OSWPCA: Sunshine / Summer 2009 - Michael A. Pace re 11Aug09 Wastewater Management District Referendum

Text facsimile

Old Saybrook Events * Summer 2009

From the Desk of the First Selectman
Michael A. Pace, (unsigned, identified from photo)

August 11, 2009 Wastewater Management District Referendum

On August 11, 2009, Old Saybrook residents will be asked to cast their ballots for the establishment of a Wastewater Management District, through an ordinance, its associated funding, and subsequent implementation of the District. Basically, the WWMD consists of 15 areas identified by engineering studies as requiring upgrade of their septic systems. This is per agreement between the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the OS WPCA in response to the 1997 Connecticut Supreme Court order to abate pollutibn of the groundwater. Systems already in compliance need not upgrade. Costs depend on the upgrades, but will be mitigated by a Town and State funding program, including services, grants, and loans. The program is not intended to be onerous. A negative vote will likely result in a return to court, imposition of fines, and the construction of a central treatment plant fed by sewer lines, and discharging into the Connecticut River.

The articles in this issue contain more detailed information on the Decentralized Wastewater Management Program (DWMP) developed by the WPCA, BOS, and their legal and engineering consultants and formally presented in the draft Wastewater Management Facilities Plan. The alternative to the DWMP is a centralized program consisting of sewer lines connecting to a central treatment plant discharging into the Connecticut River. This Summer's Old Saybrook Events includes the WWMD map showing the 15 "focus areas", introduction to the program, history of the focus areas, what is expected to occur on the subject properties, why the State has cited Old Saybrook for groundwater pollution from septic systems, comparison of the alternatives, the Upgrade Standards, the funding program, implementation schedule, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

All this information plus legal documents, background, detailed maps of the focus areas, slide presentation, and contacts are available on the WPCA website www.oswpca.org. Please note that every focus area has been invited to a Public Education session specific to their neighborhood based on their ability to attend (summer community versus year-round). As the meetings are held, the map for the neighborhood is updated according to the latest septic system information in WPCA and Health District files. The maps provide an idea of what will need to be done on each lot; i.e. nothing, replace a septic tank, upgrade the leaching system, a combination, or install an alternative treatment system.

If you have been unable to attend there are still some outstanding dates and you are welcome to come to those. And of course, the WPCA meets at the Saybrook Point Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. Along with these meetings and website, the Public Education portion of the program includes binders and handouts available at Town Hall and in the Acton Library as well as media outreach. Please take some time to review this program so you can make an informed decision on August 11th. Also, please remember that the most qualified persons to answer questions on the DWMP are WPCA members, staff, consultants, and the Selectmen. Other sources may be unreliable.

Other Important Dates

July 29, 2009: The Town Meeting at which the referendum items will be presented will be held in the High School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.