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
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.