Thursday, November 3, 2016

Southington Voters: A Critically important Question on your Election Ballot next Tuesday, November 8th.

On Tuesday, November 8th, there is one question at the top of the ballot that asks voters for a Yes or No as to the proposed major upgrade to the Town of Southington’s Water Pollution Control Plant at a total cost of $57,100,000.

What is at stake for the Town and its Citizens?

This report will answer that question. But voters should really view this video presentation of Town Manager Garry Brumback and key department heads.  

With approval of voters, the project can move forward and qualify the Town for Clean Water Fund grants of $17,168,000. This would reduce Southington’s actual cost of the project to $39,932,000.  The Town would also be eligible for a low 2% loan rate to finance that net balance.

Approval of the project would enable the Town to proceed with final design and award of contracts by the July 2019 deadline for the plant to comply with the new strict DEEP phosphorous limits in discharged clean water by 2022.  Failure to meet the stated deadline and the new clean water standards would result in (a) disqualification of the Town for the Clear Water grants (b) along with the low 2% finance rate for the balance of the cost and (c) expose the Town of Southington to non-compliance fines of $37,500 per day, (accumulating to $13,687,500 per year).  

See Video of  Sewage Treatment Plant and the Town Manager and other town professionals

Plant History:  Constructed in 1958, with a last major upgrade in the early 1980’s, the town added a Denitrification Facility in 2008 to remove nitrogen from the wastewater thus meeting the DEEP discharge requirements at that time. Financial benefits were also impressive: denitrification ended the State mandated purchase of nitrogen credits, costing the Town a total of $2.2 million from 2003-2010 while enabling the Town to sell nitrogen credits, thereby producing about $250,000 in new revenue, from 2011-2016.   

To meet the new standard limits of sewage discharge, the plant needs to be overhauled to replace old and inefficient equipment and pumps. Replacement parts for a sixty-year-old plant are increasingly difficult to obtain or no longer available. The Town engaged the services of professional consultants, Tighe and Bond to evaluate the facility’s condition, recommend required equipment repairs and replacements, and design a new phosphorous removal system. Working with Town management, department heads, specialists and the Town Council, the consultant has arrived at a viable plan to be proposed for referendum. With approval of the voters Tuesday, anticipated completion of the project is three years which will enable the town to meet the 2019 deadline.

“Southington processes a daily average of 4.5 million gallons of sewage. The water is discharged into the Quinnipiac River as clean and disinfected water, better than the quality of the river’s water, effectively improving the safety and health standards of the water.” said Director of Public Works, Keith Hayden. 

Project upgrades include: New phosphorous removal system; Bar screen to remove incoming debris that can clog piping and damage pumps; Covering raw sewage tanks (aerated grit chamber and two primary settling tanks) to eliminate odors for the nearby residents, ball fields, and South End elementary school; Odor control units to filter odorous air; Replacing electric motors with smaller efficient units to reduce electricity costs; Relocating critical disinfection equipment above the 100 year flood elevation; Repairing deteriorated and cracked concrete tanks; Computer control and alarm system to monitor equipment and flows, detect issues and notify plant operators of problems. 

Open the Video now or go to News at and scroll down to the link to the Water Treatment Plant.   

Author’s Note:  The facts presented above are based on three years of personal investigation, tracking the town’s progress in studying of options in the matter of our Water Pollution Control Facility, discussions with town officials, personal visits to the plant, including walk-throughs of the multiple processes in a complex system of processing operations of an enormous volume of sewage that is discharged into the Quinnipiac River as clean and disinfected water. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Dick, so much for this information - it's vital to know the details before voting. Isn't the Calendar House on the ballot too?