Woodridge Lake Sewer District
113 Brush Hill Road, P.O. Box 258 Goshen CT 06756  860-491-2705
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Questions & Answers

1. Will Torrington’s drinking water continue to be safe? 

2. What are the economic benefits to Torrington taxpayers? 

3. Why don’t you process your wastewater in Goshen? 

4. Is there a strategic reason for coming to Torrington? 

5. Is this connection to the Torrington sewer plant unusual? 

6. What is the route of the proposed pipe line?  

7. Has the project received any approvals in Goshen and Torrington? 

8. What will change about sewer service areas along the route? 

9. Is the pipe in a watershed? 

10. Is this type of pipe unusual within a watershed? 

11. How many alternative routes were evaluated? 

12. Who will maintain the proposed pipe within Torrington? 

13. How many gallons will the pipe carry?  

14. What is the 110,000 gallons per day I am hearing about? 

15. Can I hook up to the sewer line? 

16. Will property owners along the route be charged for this Project? 

17. How long will the work be done in front of my home? 

18. When will paving be completed in front of my home? 

19. Where will the pipe be placed? 

20. What happens if my driveway is in the path of the construction? 

21. When will the work be done? 

22. How long will the project take? 

23. Who is the Woodridge Lake Sewer District? 

24. When will all the homes be constructed within the WLSD? 

25. What is WLSD’s history as operator of a sewage collection system?  

26. How much will this pipe line cost the Goshen homeowners? 

27. How does this project fit into the State’s overall plans? 


1. Will Torrington’s drinking water continue to be safe?


Yes. The proposed sewer line is designed by one of the country’s most experienced and well-regarded engineering firms, using state of the art technology. The completed pipeline will be monitored and regulated by local and state officials, and maintained by the Torrington WPCA, and meets and exceeds all safety requirements.

Woodard & Curran ( http://www.woodardcurran.com/ ) design of this project is of the highest quality using proven “tight pipe” technologies that are used in other similar projects throughout the State.  The firm has decades of experience in wastewater management and also works for large water companies, operating water and wastewater systems for municipalities throughout the country.  Their staff has worked on many of the 41 areas where sewer lines safely overlap watershed lands within Connecticut.  

Woodward & Curran’s design also includes recommendations from the Torrington Water Company (TWC)’s outside engineer Tata & Howard, to ensure the safety of the short section of pipeline along the edge of the Allen Dam watershed area.

The Torrington Water Pollution Authority is a well-established and experienced agency that will monitor and maintain the sewer line. Torrington WPCA staff and engineers have reviewed and contributed suggestions to the WLSD design. The state-of-the-art computerized monitoring system will be accessible to the Torrington WPCA and WLSD staff, and will automatically generate alarms if it detects an operational failure. 

Finally, the proposed pipeline will be located 9,200 feet, or nearly two miles, from the Allen Dam Reservoir, with multiple safety systems in place to stop and address any leakage before it could reach the drinking water reservoir. The pipe will run five feet below the surface along Route 4, including less than 1,400 feet within the TWC watershed. In the highly unlikely event of a pipe break or leak, WLSD has the ability to store wastewater at its pump station, allowing the pipe to be repaired in a timely manner.  If a pipe break released wastewater to the ground surface along Route 4, it can be safely cleaned up well before affecting drinking water reservoirs. 

 These multiple existing and proposed layers of protection will protect the TWC water supply

Finally, as required by the state Department of Public Health the TWC runs a filtration system that cleans the surface water drawn from reservoirs to remove wastewater contaminants from the naturally occurring and abundant wildlife that lives throughout their watershed.  We note that there are already 44 identified potential sources of pollution within the Allen Dam watershed, including Action Wildlife, (a 116 acre area with 300 animals) and several farms with horses and cattle.   

 


2. What are the economic benefits to Torrington taxpayers?


There are both one-time and ongoing economic benefits to Torrington taxpayers.

The WLSD will pay an estimated one-time $2.2 million connection fee based on an average annual flow rate of 110,000 gallons per day (gpd), which is higher than the current annual flow rate of 84,200 gpd.  The projected flow rate, according to a study conducted by the City’s outside professional engineers, Wright-Pierce, will not impact the Torrington sewage treatment system, or cause the City to incur any additional capital costs.  The city can use the connection fee to pay for a planned $52 million upgrade of the treatment plant. 

The City will collect another $800,000 from the WLSD over the next 20 years based on the agreed maximum flow rate of 110,000 gpd as its proportionate share of the debt service to fund sewerage plant improvements and upgrades.

Finally, the WLSD will pay annual fees in support of operation and maintenance of the sewage treatment plant.  Wright-Pierce indicated that there would be a small increase in the total costs of electricity, chemicals and sludge disposal resulting from this added flow.   Over the term of the twenty year agreement WLSD will pay an estimated additional $1.2 million to the City.  

In total, the WLSD will pay more than $4.2 million to Torrington.

 


3. Why don’t you process your wastewater in Goshen?


WLSD was ordered by DEEP to develop a long team plan to manage its wastewater in compliance with current regulations.  Our goal was to build a new wastewater plant in Goshen and utilize our modified leaching system.  Since August of 2010 we have been working with our engineers in testing and redesigning our facilities.  It became clear that we would not receive a permit from DEEP for a local option and that the only option available was to have our wastewater processed by a regional facility.  The Torrington sewage treatment system is the best in the region, and has been recommended to serve as the regional wastewater treatment hub by the state of Connecticut. 

 

4. Is there a strategic reason for coming to Torrington?


The city of Torrington, which is home to 47 percent of the region’s population and 57 percent of non-farm jobs, is the economic hub of the region though a relatively small city, with a population of 37,000, the city was recently  a Micropolitan Statistical Area because it draws workers and shoppers from Litchfield County towns and miles around.  Like others in our area Goshen and the Woodridge Lake development are drawn to Torrington for entertainment, shopping, business and the City is home of many vendors who provide services to these surrounding towns.  Torrington’s regional presence is consistent with the State’s view that enhancing regional centers will benefit the core city as well as those surrounding communities.  

 

5. Is this connection to the Torrington sewer plant unusual?


It is not at all unusual; the city has had similar agreements to provide wastewater treatment to Litchfield since 1995 and to Harwinton since 2006.

The Torrington Water Pollution Control Facility processes seven million gallons of wastewater every day, including 150,000 gallons from Litchfield and 77,000 from Harwinton. Woodridge Lake Sewer District’s proposal is to send 110,000 gallons per day to the Torrington facility.

Torrington’s facility is an excellent example of a modern regional facility taking advantage of economies of scale by accommodating Litchfield and Harwinton’s wastewater, and if approved. 


6. What is the route of the proposed pipe line?


The proposed new sewer pipe line would run 6.22 miles within the road right-of-ways. There will be a 3.68 mile section in Goshen and 2.54 miles in Torrington.  The route in Torrington extends on Goshen Road (State Route 4) at the City line with Goshen to Riverside Avenue

7. Has the project received any approvals in Goshen and Torrington?


 The Torrington Planning & Zoning Commission approved the project in December 2015, and Goshen PZC approved in January.

Goshen and Torrington inland wetlands commissions held public hearings in August, and both commissions issued approvals.

 

8. What will change about sewer service areas along the route?


There are no changes to Torrington or Goshen sewer service areas. The proposed sewer pipe line will traverse areas outside the sewer service areas but no connections will be allowed. 


9. Is the pipe in a watershed?


Within Torrington, the pipe will traverse 0.27 miles (1,400 feet) along the edge of the Torrington Water Company watershed.

 

10. Is this type of pipe unusual within a watershed?


Sewer lines in watershed land are safe and not uncommon.  Across the state, there are 41 areas where sewer lines safely overlap in watershed lands.

 

The WLSD collection system of 16.2 miles of gravity sewer and 1.9 miles of force main piping has operated for over forty-years without any failures.


11. How many alternative routes were evaluated?


The WLSD has considered both the Torrington and Litchfield plants to process wastewater. Litchfield does not have the capacity to take additional wastewater. Six routes have been considered into Torrington. The proposed route under consideration today was approved by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and by Torrington WPCA staff.


12. Who will maintain the proposed pipe within Torrington?


Plans call for the City of Torrington to be responsible for maintenance of the sewer pipe line within the City limits.

 

13. How many gallons will the pipe carry?


The proposed sewer pipeline will connect the 691 homes completed to date within the WLSD and carry an average of 84,200 gallons per day and would operate less than four hours per day.  


14. What is the 110,000 gallons per day I am hearing about?


That will be the maximum daily flow if and when all of the available lots in the WLSD are connected. 

 

15. Can I hook up to the sewer line?


The project will service only WLSD. There will be no connections allowed within the existing sewer avoidance areas within Goshen and Torrington.


16. Will property owners along the route be charged for this Project?


No. Property owners who are not part of the WLSD will not be charged. 

 

17. How long will the work be done in front of my home?


On the Goshen town roads the rate will be 100 feet of pipe per day and on the State roads 50 feet per day.


18. When will paving be completed in front of my home?


Paving repair will be done weekly on the town roads and daily on the state roads and all the final repairs will be completed after wintering over.


19. Where will the pipe be placed?


The pipes will all be placed within the roads or within the rights of-way of the road.


20. What happens if my driveway is in the path of the construction?


Driveways will be repaired.


21. When will the work be done?


Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 5:00pm.


22. How long will the project take?


Plans call for construction to begin in the spring of 2017 and be completed in fall 2019. 

 

23. Who is the Woodridge Lake Sewer District?


The Woodridge Lake Sewer District services a residential community of currently 691 homes that surround the 385-acre Woodridge Lake, located in Goshen. The community is currently split evenly between full-time and part-time residents.  Another 80 building lots are approved but undeveloped. An average of three new homes are built every year.

The Woodridge Lake Sewer District (WLSD) acts as an independent municipal taxing authority and oversees an infrastructure constructed in 1972 that includes a collection system of 16.2 miles of gravity sewer and 1.9 miles of force main piping.  WLSD utilizes a modified leaching system to discharge treated effluent, which is regulated by DEEP.    


24. When will all the homes be constructed within the WLSD?


At the current rate of three new homes constructed per year it will take over twenty-five years to build out the community.


25. What is WLSD’s history as operator of a sewage collection system?


The WLSD was established in 1970 to collect and process wastewater in the lake community, and to protect the Waterbury watershed there. The WLSD has operated its collection system for 44 years without a sewer pipeline failure, incident or Notice of Violation from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) and without any problems reported by the Waterbury Water Department.


26. How much will this pipe line cost the Goshen homeowners?


After completion of the proposed $15.6 million dollar project, the WLSD’s taxpayers will be paying sewer fees 4 times the State average of $406 per household compared to Torrington’s which is paying ½ of the State average.  The proposed route will result in an estimated sewer tax per house hold of $1,632 per year for homeowners in the WLSD vs. Torrington’s $224 per year.


27. How does this project fit into the State’s overall plans?


The proposed Regional Sewer Connection Project is consistent with the state of Connecticut’s plans to regionalize wastewater infrastructure in rural areas, wherever feasible. Connecting to the Torrington system is also consistent with the State’s view that regional wastewater treatment centers will benefit the core city and its surrounding communities. 

 

Copyright © 2016 Woodridge Lake Sewer District. All rights reserved. Banner image courtesy of Sotherby's International Realty.