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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Waitsfield Planning Commission to present wastewater study result

Options for bringing municipal wastewater to Waitsfield via a decentralized system will be presented by the Waitsfield Planning Commission at a public hearing next month.

The February 1 public meeting will be held at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield on February 1 at 7 p.m.

Last summer and fall the planning commission worked with Stone Environmental of Montpelier to undertake a study of wastewater options for Waitsfield Village, with an emphasis on exploring whether a series of smaller, decentralized systems could work for Waitsfield, opposed to a single, larger, "big pipe" solution.

Waitsfield voters rejected a single, large, municipal wastewater system three years ago when such a system was presented along with the municipal water project that was approved and is under construction (and litigation) right now.

At the February 1 meeting, the Waitsfield Planning Commission will present the findings of a fall 2010 committee study, "Assessment of Decentralized Wastewater Options: A survey of needs, capacity and solutions for Historic Waitsfield Village and Irasville, Vermont."
Funded by a municipal planning grant, the study evaluates the needs and capacity for "small pipe" decentralized wastewater treatment options in Irasville and historic Waitsfield Village. The effort was initiated by the Waitsfield Select Board as a method to evaluate viable alternatives to the "big pipe" taxpayer-supported centralized wastewater system, which was voted down in spring 2008.

Launched last August, the study was prepared by Stone Environmental and was overseen by a volunteer subcommittee of the Waitsfield Planning Commission. The study updates the existing 2001 survey of water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure in the town, re-evaluates wastewater treatment and dispersal capacity and needs in light of the municipal water project now under construction, and evaluates wastewater management options.  

The final report and executive summary, both of which will be available at the meeting, incorporate results from a homeowner/landowner survey of the study area, detailed maps that spotlight capacity and need, and recommended next steps.    


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