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Yes. All of the Town’s current wastewater service areas are governed by ordinances that require all properties to connect to the municipal sewer once constructed.
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A $16.7 million pollution abatement project approved by Colchester voters in March 2022, to address failing septic systems and human waste bacteria in Malletts Bay. This estimate is based on the project being constructed in the next four years.
The wastewater would be pumped to Severance Corners via Blakely Road and connected into the Town’s existing sewer system, which flows to the City of South Burlington’s Airport Parkway Wastewater Treatment Facility where it is treated under an inter-municipal agreement with the City.
Approximately 64% or $10.6 million will be funded by grants. The remaining $6.1 million will be funded by a 30-year 2% loan from the State of Vermont. The loan will be repaid only by the 289 properties located within the sewer service area. Properties outside of the sewer service area will pay nothing for this project. No property taxes or local option taxes will be used for this project.
Properties included in the new sewer service area are those properties that have roadway frontage on either side of West Lakeshore Drive from Prim Road to East Lakeshore Drive, all of East Lakeshore Drive, and Goodsell Point. Please click here for a map of the sewer service area.
All current developed properties within the proposed service area will be connected to the system at no charge. The connection, decommissioning of existing septic systems, and the amendments of individual wastewater permits will all be completed as part of the overall project. Once completed, the individual service laterals, including individual pump stations where needed, will be the responsibility of the property owner.
The estimated average annual sewer costs for residential properties is approximately $993 per household which includes operating and debt charges.
Operating charges pay for the daily operation and maintenance of the sewer system. They are based on individual water usage since this water is ultimately discharged to the sewer system, and represents how much each property uses the sewer system. Water usage information for the properties located within the proposed wastewater service area was obtained from Colchester Fire District’s #2 and #3 for a period of two years. The readings were then averaged to determine an estimated average annual water consumption for single family residential properties within the sewer service area.
To calculate an estimate for the operating charges for your property, examine your water bills, determine what your average annual water consumption is in gallons, and then multiply by $0.00794. Based upon the water use information provided by Colchester Fire District’s #2 and #3, our estimate for average annual operating charges is $289.57 per year. Your cost may vary depending upon individual water consumption habits.
Debt charges pay for the loans taken to help construct the sewer system. They are based on the amount of sewer capacity that is needed for each property. The required capacity for each property is based on the State of Vermont Environmental Protection Rules, Chapter 1, Wastewater System and Water Supply Rules. Chapter 1 of the Vt. EPR’s states; “Single family residential units connected to a wastewater disposal system with a design capacity of at least 50,000 gallons per day may use a design flow of 210 gallons per unit per day, regardless of the number of bedrooms.” Design flows represent the highest expected flows and are typically higher than actual flows.
To calculate the debt charges for your property, take your capacity of 210 gallons per day and multiply by $3.35 per gallon. Each residential property will receive a debt charge of $703.19. Estimated total annual sewer costs are calculated by adding these two charges together which totals $992.92.
The annual costs for non-residential properties will vary significantly depending upon the type of business, number of employees, and many other factors. Estimated annual costs for each non-residential property can be determined by multiplying the total gallons of annual water consumption by $0.00794, and multiplying the total allocation for the property by $3.35 per gallon. The allocation that is currently assigned to each non-residential property can be seen here. Estimated total annual sewer costs are calculated by adding these two charges together.
Many of the properties will require individual pump stations to pump the wastewater to the sewer line in the roadway. This will include those properties on West Lakeshore Drive that are lower than the roadway, (generally the lake side of the roadway) and also, all of the properties on East Lakeshore Drive and Goodsell Point where low-pressure sewers will be used. Because these sewer lines are pressurized, individual properties must pump into them regardless of elevation. Low pressure sewers were chosen for these areas as they can be installed at much shallower depths and do not require large pump stations. These factors are important considering traffic impacts during construction, limited working space, and ledge. Once the project is completed, the individual service lateral, including individual pumps will be the responsibility of the property owner. The pumps are a pre-packaged unit that are approximately 4 feet in diameter, and about 7 ½ feet high. They have significant emergency storage in the event of a power outage, and operate quietly and efficiently, without odor. The units will be located outside of the houses and below ground surface. They will have an at grade cover on them and will look similar to a septic tank cover. Addition technical information about these individual pump stations can be viewed here.
Construction is currently scheduled to begin in the spring of 2024, and be completed in the fall of 2026. Construction in 2024 will include the main sewer line along West Lakeshore Drive, the force main along Blakely Road to pump the sewer to the Town’s existing sewer system at Severance Corners, and the main pumping stations along this corridor. Construction in 2025 will include the service laterals along West Lakeshore Drive, as well as the main sewer line and all service laterals along East Lakeshore Drive. Construction in 2026 will include the sewer main and service laterals on Goodsell Point.
Final design of the project is now at the 60% level. Current efforts include permitting and right-of-way acquisition, as well as completing the final design.
Please contact the Director of Public Works, Bryan K. Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-264-5620.