Rocky Ledge Area Water Main Project
THE ROCKY LEDGE AREA WATER MAIN EXTENSION PROJECT
The Rocky Ledge Area Water Main Extension Project
The Town of Clinton has been under a Consent Order from the Department of Environmental Protection, now known as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) since 1997. This Order requires that the Town develop a Wastewater Facilities Plan to address groundwater pollution from septic systems, defined in the Order as a “community pollution problem.”
The Town, through its Water Pollution Control Commission (WPCC), has been working with its professional engineer to investigate options to resolve the concerns in areas of Town, known as Study Areas, which have been identified as contributing to, or posing a serious threat of, groundwater contamination. The Rocky Ledge Area is one of the Study Areas identified. For this project, the Rocky Ledge Study Area is defined as approximately 120 homes on Rocky Ledge Drive, Oakwood Lane, Margo Lane, Woodland Drive, Happy Acres Road, and homes on the west side of Route 81 between Happy Acres Road and Rocky Ledge Drive.
In recent years, the Connecticut River Area Health District (CRAHD) and Water Pollution Control Commission (WPCC) have tested well water at many of the homes located in this area. The results of that testing showed many homes with drinking water quality violations. The violations included high levels of nitrates, the presence of Coliform Bacteria, and low pH. The probable cause was determined to be the neighborhood’s dependence on septic systems and individual drinking water wells in this densely developed area.
By 2014, the WPCC had determined, through property record reviews, that the properties in the Rocky Ledge Study Area were too small to have both drinking water wells and septic systems supplying each home. Many wells are currently closer to the septic system on the same property or an adjoining property than allowed by the CT Public Health Code (PHC), which requires a minimum of 75 feet of separation distance. Many septic systems in the Rocky Ledge Study Area are undersized. Based upon the current Public Health Code (PHC) requirement to have a minimum of a 75-foot well separation between any septic system and a well; systems in this area are not capable of being upgraded.
It was determined initially to address the contribution of septic systems to groundwater pollution by providing sewers and wastewater treatment for the area. However, after several years of study, the WPCC proposed a water main extension in the Rocky Ledge Area in place of sewers and wastewater treatment. This approach, along with properly abandoning wells, addresses environmental concerns by allowing additional area on the property for septic system upgrades when needed by eliminating the Public Health Code required separating distance from a well to any part of a septic system. This solution also has the added public health benefit of providing a safe source of drinking water. Importantly, this solution was also confirmed to be approximately one-half the cost of installing sewers and providing wastewater treatment to the area. The water main extension project has the approval of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), and is supported by CRAHD as “the most desirable to solve environmental issues in the Rocky Ledge Area.” The project is eligible for financial assistance in the form of a low-interest loan through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. In addition, the Town has applied for a Small Towns Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant to help defray the costs and we anticipate that the Connecticut Water Company will make a substantial contribution to the project costs.
The Water Pollution Control Commission will make every effort to keep the public informed on the progress of the project will add information to this page as it becomes available.