The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 10, 2010

Board of Health plans town center sewer extension

The proposed sewer extension would link the Carlisle School wastewater system to Village Court and the Gleason Library. New pipes (dashed line) would connect Village Court to the library, where a pumping station (box) would be installed. From there, pipes (solid line) would connect to the school’s wastewater system
(box and dotted line) which pumps effl uent to the Banta Davis Land.
(Drawing adapted by Maya Liteplo)

The Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) voted to submit their application on August 31 to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a state-funded low-interest loan to finance a Town Center sewer project. The town presently has no public sewer system. The loan would fund the hook-up of nearby buildings (such as Carlisle Village Court, the elderly housing on Church Street and the Gleason Library) to the wastewater treatment facility at the Carlisle School. According to the application, the cost of the construction would be approximately $500,000. The project is slated to be completed in October of 2012 (see table, below).

The school’s wastewater treatment facility was built in 2006 with a capacity of 13,500 gallons per day (gpd). It was designed with excess capacity; however utilization has been lower than expected because of falling enrollment. In addition, flow drops significantly during summer months when school is not in session. The application notes that during the summer, “Currently the temporary solution employed by the plant service contractor is to ‘feed’ the system with sufficient waste to meet the treatment requirements. Accordingly, animal feed has been consistently used for this purpose during these off-periods.”

According to the BOH application, the average daily flow between January, 2008 and June, 2010 was approximately 1,574 gpd, or 1,866 gpd when school is in session. The application estimated an available capacity of roughly 11,600 gpd. However, the flow varied between a low of 0 gpd in August, 2008 and a high of 3,491 gpd this past March. Carlisle School Facilities Supervisor David Flannery, contacted earlier, estimates, “As our school population increases so would our flow, perhaps to as high as 5,000 gallons a day.” Using this figure, the excess capacity would be 8,500 gpd.

Project scope – first phase

The application states, “This initial project will connect the Town’s active library, the Gleason Public Library, and an elderly housing project, the Carlisle Village Court, both of which are located within the Town Center.” The library’s septic system is aging and is expected to need replacement in the next several years. Connecting Village Court to the sewer system would allow the possible expansion of the elderly affordable housing.

The sewer lines will be “constructed primarily within the public right of way, with one short cross-country sewer between the library and School Street,” according to the application. A second pumping station is suggested with an approximate cost of $235,000. In addition, BOH Chair Jeff Brem noted a need for a large emergency generator at the school since more facilities would depend on the wastewater treatment facility. This cost was not included in the sewer system loan application.

The library’s estimated wastewater flow is 450 gpd, while the 18 units currently in the elderly housing project are estimated to generate about 2,700 gpd. Adding in an allowance for additional flow needed, depending on the pipe length, adds another 230 gpd, for a total estimated flow from the library and Village Court of 3,380 gpd. If an additional dozen apartments are built in the future, another 1,800 gpd would be added. In total, connecting to the library and an expanded Village Court might eventually add up to 5,180 gpd to the school wastewater treatment plant.

Future phases could include other town buildings, Ferns, homes, “betterment fee”

The application notes future phases of the sewer extension which could include the Town Hall, Fire Station and Police Station. In addition, the BOH document lists connecting the sewer to Ferns, and mentions that residential lots in the town center are undersized and the center contains soils contaminated with the gasoline additive MTBE. BOH member Kathy Galligan noted that “some private residences may participate” in phase II of the project. “There needs to be a policy,” she suggested, regarding private residences. “If the grant mentions private residences then we are committing to” hooking up homes. “If it is not in there,” replied Brem, “then we can’t talk about it at Town Meeting.” BOH member Bill Risso expressed concern that talking about hooking up private residences at Town Meeting could be “a political hot potato.” Brem pointed out those residences would be charged a “betterment fee.” He added, “That’s what the commission would do. It will be a pretty sizable cost to connect, from $5,000 to $12,000.”

Creation of sewer commission, vote at Town Meeting

Risso suggested the town “wouldn’t need a sewer commission” for the first phase of the project. “We would just work with the school and work with the people,” he added. Brem replied that he believes a sewer commission would be necessary. “They would be in charge of construction and putting out bids. It shouldn’t be the Board of Health” running the project, he added. A sewer commission is a public body and has specific roles and responsibilities governed by state law. If the project receives DEP approval the loan would have to be voted by the Town Meeting next spring.

Application to be updated later

Galligan brought a list of suggested changes to the loan application, but Brem said the form must be submitted by the next day. The board decided to approve the application as is, use the meeting time to discuss changes, and to submit an amended application in the fall. Some of the changes considered deal with hooking up private residences in the future.

The application involves a point system for projects: the higher the points the better the board’s chances of receiving the state loan. The Carlisle project qualified for 55 points, which Risso noted was very good. Risso praised the engineering firm of Weston & Simpson, which prepared the application for the town free of charge. “They did a good job,” agreed Brem.

Other business

The board opened a public hearing on a new well at 28 Concord Street. Risso noted the new well is an improvement. “We’re going from a dug well to a drill well, going to 100 feet into bedrock,” he said. The board closed the public hearing and approved the location of the new well, which will be placed in the corner of the owner’s driveway.

Galligan suggested putting together a book that describes the various tasks performed by the BOH. She suggested that articles from the Mosquito could be included in the book.

The BOH is sponsoring a Lyme Disease presentation in the Union Hall on September 15 at 7:30 p.m. They would like a volunteer from CCTV to film the presentation. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito