Select Committee...notes from as early as June 2000...early meetings attended by LWV of Weston Observer on this page...

H O W   W E T   C A N    I T    G E T ?

Escalating Seymour sewer costs protested,  State help unlikely, but town may pitch in
KATE RAMUNNI, Correspondent
Article created: 07/12/2005 04:25:04 AM
SEYMOUR — More than 75 residents of the Mountain Road area came to Town Hall Monday evening hoping to hear that the state is going to help them pay their sewer connection bills.
But while they were told it isn't likely that any state money will help cover the assessments, they learned the town's residents may pitch in to pay the bills.

The Board of Selectmen held a special meeting Monday that included reports from state Sens. George "Doc" Gunther, R-Stratford, and Louis C. DeLuca, R-Woodbury, as well as state Rep. Len Greene, R-Beacon Falls.

In 1999 residents approved the $5.5 million sewer project that brought both city water and sewer to 216 homes. But at that time, the residents were told that the assessments would run about $15,000 per house, and could be paid over a 10-year period.

Shortly after that approval, it was discovered that the town was millions of dollars in debt, a situation that was only resolved after a special 3-mill tax was assessed. At that time, all major projects, including the sewer project, were put on hold, First Selectman Robert Koskelowski said.

It was almost four years later that work finally began, and recently the bills for the sewer hookup arrived. Shocked residents found that sewer assessment alone ran $15,000, with the water hookups yet to be billed.

[Please read the rest of this article at the CT POST website]

And across the state line...Weston doesn't have this problem (or a big water tank), but environmental headaches can always crop up!
Lead Found Near Another Westerly Water Tank;  Town property on Tower Street found to be contaminated
Day Arts Writer, Westerly, North Stonington
Published on 9/8/2004

Westerly — A “very significant” amount of lead paint contamination has been discovered on town property and on at least one residential property around a water tank on Tower Street.

At the same time, an inspection report on the Winnapaug water tank calls for the town to repair the tank to prevent it from falling down in a windstorm.

George Prete, the town's special projects coordinator, said Tuesday that Pare Engineering has found lead contamination on at least one private property on Ledward Avenue and under blacktop on the town-owned tank property. A copy of Pare's report was unavailable Tuesday. But Prete said lead levels in some places were 10 times higher than allowed for safe residential exposure limits.

Lead also may have contaminated a commercial property on Granite Street and entered a drain on Tower Street. Prete said the drain is blocked and that it is believed the lead did not travel.

Lead paint was sandblasted from the Tower Street tank before it was painted with non-lead paint in 1985.

Prete said Pare would continue testing and was working on testing guidelines with the Rhode Island departments of Environmental Management and Health. He said the town may conduct lead testing at a water tank site in Bradford.

The discovery of lead on Tower Street comes months after the town found high lead levels on public and private property at and around the Winnapaug tank off Winnapaug Road, where the town is preparing to replace the 500,000-gallon tank with a one-million-gallon tank. Before the town can build the tank, it must clean up lead on its property, a process that soon will be completed. It is now conducting further testing on residential property and plans to clean that as well.

[Please read the rest of this article at THE DAY (New London, CT) website]

CT DEP ready to give the green light to Revson Field septic alternative?  Stay tuned...check back to history of Select Committee HERE.
Lawyers busy preparing for Town of Weston v. Conservation Commission over "denied" Bisceglie application (see immediately below - "denied");  LWV members attend, but no report for on-line publication, the re-re-application PUBLIC HEARING for Bisceglie.

CT DEP PUBLIC HEARING March 27, 2003 at Town Hall runs 2 hours;  hour-long presentation by Town, hour of public testimony (15 speakers).  Decision will come after April 11 - written comments accepted until then (CT DEP, 79 Elm  Street, Hartford, 06106).

New Application brought to Conservation Commission for Bisceglie Park playing fields and septic - Public Hearing continued to Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 7:30pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room.
On Town Channel 79 - Conservation Commission turns down (again) by the same 4-3 vote (same Commissioners voting the same way) Town of Weston application for use of Bisceglie Park as second option for school septic fields.  Comment that CT DEP should look at Revson again instead.  Comment that the "credibility of the Town" is at stake - this argument did not elicit support from members voting against project in Bisceglie.  Leader of "no" vote appointed to Select Committee.

November 26, 2002, 7:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room
1.  Update from Stu Fairbanks on:
    a.  Bisceglie Park/report on local Conservation Commission action and new application.
    b.  Zenon Plant/described in detail as to how it works, etc.
    c.  DEP/indication that Town will pursue School Road-Revson for high water tests and DEP OK even if Bisceglie gets final OK.
2.  Update on water conservation/reports on water use distributed
3.  Update on budget/under budget at this time
4.  Discussion of possible disbandment of the Committee/sense of members present is to continue
5.  Any other business...

Town of Weston submits new application to Conservation Commission November 6 ("About Town" understands from secondary reports that the Public Hearing for a new application will be on January 8, 2003);  Town of Weston Board of Selectmen votes 3-0 (August 1, 2002 meeting) to submit application for CTDEP approval (awaiting official word from CTDEP) for either of two (2) proposals for septic treatment for school projects:
Prime site at Bisceglie Park (mounded)
Secondary site (if it rains next Spring), Revson Field

Weston not alone...
News from around the State of Connecticut...
Small Towns Faced With Big Waste Choices
July 8, 2002 - By SUDHIN S. THANAWALA, Courant Staff Writer

A small cottage on the shore might accommodate a family of five for a few days, but a 250-gallon septic tank will not.

Brushing their teeth, flushing the toilet and doing the dishes, mom, dad and the kids will send close to 375 gallons of wastewater gurgling through the pipes of their home into the undersized tank each day.

Eventually, the system will fail and waste will come bubbling to the surface.

Such septic woes have come to plague towns along the Connecticut shoreline, where small cottages often host big crowds in the summer.  Even when septic tanks are adequately sized, small plots and high water tables make it hard for the systems to function properly. The result: pollution of groundwater and possibly Long Island Sound.

But a typical alternative, a sewage treatment plant, isn't right for all towns, local officials say. They argue that sewers and a large treatment plant would promote uncontrolled development.  High-rise apartment buildings and chain restaurants - familiar sights in other communities with sewers - would destroy the towns' character, they say. Put them in the ground, they warn, and the developers will come.

In 1989, Old Saybrook residents balked at a state Department of Environmental Protection order requiring the town to construct a sewage treatment plant that would also serve Westbrook and Clinton. Since then, the festering problem has gone largely unaddressed, as the towns and DEP continue to haggle over the best solution.

"I don't want to rush anything, but I do think we need to address [this problem]," said State Rep. Brian O'Connor, D-Clinton. "We don't want people dragging their feet."

[Please read the rest of this article at the Hartford COURANT website]

DEP: Plant released sewage into river nine times
By Brian Lockhart, Stamford ADVOCATE Staff Writer
June 20, 2003
NORWALK -- The city's wastewater treatment plant has released sewage into the Norwalk River nine times since the beginning of May, according to plant records the state Department of Environmental Protection collected yesterday as part of its ongoing probe.

"From my experience, it's not normal," said Craig Motasky, the DEP inspector who gathered the spill records yesterday from the South Smith Street facility.

A spate of spills in Norwalk and at other plants, including one in Bridgeport, have led the state Bureau of Aquaculture to consider streamlining the process for determining if harmful bacteria has been released into waterways.  Under the current system, state wastewater treatment facilities are not required to immediately test spills to determine
whether hazardous bacteria was released. In such cases, the state may send inspectors, such as Motasky, to check claims by plant personnel that the spills do not pose health hazards to the public.

Subsequent water sampling and testing by the state require beaches and shellfish beds to be temporarily closed. The process can take several days.  "The minute they (plants) have a problem, we want them to be able to take a sample from their effluent pipe and find out the next day the bacterial numbers they're getting," said Lori Romick, an environmental analyst for the aquaculture bureau, which makes the decision to close the shellfish beds. "Right now, I'm using my best professional judgment to close (the beds) on a precautionary basis. Sometimes it may prove necessary, sometimes not."

[Please read the rest of this article at the Stamford ADVOCATE website]