Funding Request

Request for Funding for Wastewater Facilities Plan & Water Pollution Control Plan

(Presentations by the WPCA to the Board of Selectmen (December 15, 2014), Conservation Commission (February 9, 2015) and Inland Wetlands (March 2, 2015).)

In accordance with Connecticut State Regulations, the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) is responsible for preparing and periodically updating a water pollution control plan for the Town of Madison. Among other requirements, the plan shall describe the means by which municipal programs are being carried out to avoid community pollution problems and describe any programs wherein the local director of health manages subsurface sewage disposal systems. Our current Water Pollution Control Plan was prepared based on the facilities planning process completed in 1981. Under this plan, the Town is mandated by DEEP to enforce a Sewer Avoidance Program to ensure the long term, successful reliance on individual septic systems and to identify areas where such a program is not feasible in the future.

At this time, the WPCA has identified conditions that may create a community pollution problem. The number of septic systems being installed on small lots in close proximity to wetlands and beaches is a concern. Groundwater pollution from under-performing septic systems, cesspools and poor maintenance is a major concern. In particular, nitrogen from septic systems is a contributing factor to water quality issues in Long Island Sound and the rivers and marshes. The WPCA recognizes this and wants to take action to promote and support installation of more advanced septic systems where economically feasible. It is likely that the DEEP will require that the town address these concerns in the near future.

The current water pollution control plan is inadequate. Actionable items include the designation of decentralized wastewater management districts in areas of environmental concern (proximity to wetlands, salt marshes and LI Sound), enhanced treatment standards for on-site systems, better coordination with other town agencies and commissions and addressing long term threats related to sea level rise. The WPCA needs to update this plan to address the identified community pollution problem, avoid administrative orders from DEEP and strengthen the sewer avoidance plan.


The Facilities Planning process has the following objectives:

  • Identify any community pollution problems and avoid DEEP administrative orders
  • Strengthen the sewer avoidance program
  • Identify and protect environmentally sensitive areas
  • Evaluate impact of increased development in environmentally sensitive areas
  • Identify alternatives to mitigate community pollution problems
  • Address DEEP concerns about nitrogen
  • Ensure a cost-effective, implementable plan for environmental protection
  • Create a defensible basis for local legislation and wastewater management districts
  • Improve/propose local design standards for on-site systems
  • Address future conditions such as sea level rise
  • Maintain local control


  • Public participation
  • Coordination town departments, boards and commissions
  • DEEP mandates and issues of concern
  • Technical analysis of septic system performance in Madison
  • Technological advancements in septic design
  • Limitations of Public Health Code
  • Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)
  • Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
  • State Plan of Conservation and Development


  • Revised facilities plan
  • Cost-effective pollution control plan
  • Designation of areas of special concern/wastewater management districts
  • Identification of future areas of concern
  • Continued sewer avoidance
  • Identify areas not suitable for on-site systems
  • Sustainable environmental protection
  • Identify steps to mitigate nutrient loading
  • Identify steps to mitigate marsh die-off
  • Plan for sea level rise

Next Steps

The facilities planning process takes time. From the time a consultant is selected until the plan is completed will take at least a year. The cost of the study depends on a final scope of work but should not exceed $80,000. If we include soil testing and groundwater testing, we would recommend an additional allowance of $20,000. The total cost may be offset by a 55% DEEP, CWF grant.

Key Milestones

Some of the key milestones and an associated time frame are summarized below:

Task Time Frame
Preliminary meetings with DEEP, Selectmen, Finance, and others
30 - 45 days
Develop Preliminary scope and request for qualifications (RFQ)
15 days
Advertise for statements of qualifications (SOQ)
30 days
Evaluate SOQs and develop short list
15 days
Interview short list and select consultant
15 days
Develop final scope of work (including DEEP review)
15 - 30 days
Negotiate fee
15 days
Finalize contract
15 days
Complete facilities plan
180 days
DEEP review
30 days
Finalize and adopt plan
30 - 60 days
Total time to complete facilities planning process
13 - 15 months