Pavel Wilson, Chairman Doris Zumbroski
Elsa Payne, Vice Chairman John F. Claffey, Jr., Alternate
George Gwizd, Secretary Robert Hansen, Alternate
Nelson Engborg Don Lucas, Coordinator
Chuck Wehrly Robbie Marshall, Info. Specialist
Dr. Robert Powitz
TOWN OF OLD SAYBROOK
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL AUTHORITY
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 395-2876; FAX (860) 395-1216; WEB: www.oswpca.org
Mr. Joel Anderson October 21, 2009
13 George Drive
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
RE: Your letter to Pavei Wilson of 15 October 2009
Replacing undersized septic tanks.
I am writing this letter to address some of the
items addressed in your letter of 15 October 2009 to
Pavel Wilson, Chairman of the Old Saybrook Water
Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) with regard to
undersized septic tanks.
In your letter, you question the "decision to
replace so called 'undersized' septic tanks" and state
this is an "arbitrary and capricious act" which will
cost the taxpayers a significant sum. The implication
in the letter is that the decision to mandate the
replacement of the tanks was an action decided upon by
the WPCA with little regard to its impact on the
property owners in the Wastewater Management District
The facts of the matter are that the requirement
to replace septic tanks that do not meet certain
requirements is mandated by court orders and refined
through years of discussion and negotiation with the
State of Connecticut Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP), the Department of Public Health and
the local Health Director. The result of these efforts
was adoption by the Town of an Ordinance to address
septic systems that, by today's standards, are
inadequate to protect human health and the environment.
These efforts can hardly be deemed to be arbitrary and
capricious. The requirements set forth in the Ordinance
with regard to septic tanks are as follows:
- All septic tanks in the WWMD are to be two
- All septic tanks are to be sized in accordance
with the requirements of the Technical Standards
of the Public Health Code (i.e., a 1,000 gallon
tank for a residence with up to three bedrooms; a
1,250 gallon tank for a four bedroom house; etc.).
These are the standards set by the State Health
Department, not the WPCA.
- All septic tanks are to have approved outlet
filters installed to minimize "carryover" of
solids from the tank into the leaching components.
Approved filters are likewise listed in the
Technical Standards of the Public Health Code.
These are standards that are common and nationally
recognized as providing adequate protection to human
health and the environment. We are sorry that you see
it differently and we believe a challenge in court to
the requirement to upgrade septic tanks within the WWMD
would be unsuccessful. The WPCA has no intention of
revising the Ordinance or challenging the court orders,
and fully intends to comply with the agreements set
forth by the court.
I believe this letter provides you with a better
understanding of how the determination was made with
regard to the sizes and conditions of existing septic
tanks and the subsequent actions of the WPCA to achieve
compliance with the directives of the court and DEP. We
hope you will cooperate with us when your property
requires attention, likely sometime in 2012.
Should you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to call me.
Don Lucas, PE
cc: P. Wilson