From the Director, Summer 2018 - Growing Interest in Community Wastewater and Water Systems for Villages

Chris CampanyThe region seems poised to turn a corner on recognition of what the absence of community wastewater and water systems means for the long-term sustainability of our villages. Engagement this month by town planning commission and Selectboard members has prompted the creation of a "Village Wastewater and Water Cohort" that will support a group of peers as they work to explore village needs related to wastewater and water.

In early August the WRC hosted representatives from the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Agency of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to learn more about rules and regulations related to wastewater and water, how other communities have identified problems and solutions, and what resources are available to support planning and system development. At the end of August the WRC reconvened the Windham Region towns that attended the early August meeting to see if they'd like to create a multi-town peer group to explore village planning, village wastewater and water problem identification and system planning. The answer was yes, and thus the tentatively-named Village Wastewater and Water Cohort has been created.

In the immediate term the WRC is working with the group to create a consortium municipal planning grant application to:
Conduct a village wants and needs assessment (visioning).
Identify existing wastewater and drinking water conditions. This would likely include parcels, well locations, septic locations, soils, water tables, home surveys, aggregate estimate water use and wastewater discharge, water testing, limits/obstructions (i.e. roads, streams and corridors, etc.)
Identify potential wastewater and drinking water solutions (pre-scoping).
In the near-term, a representative from a town that is completing a drinking water feasibility study for its village has offered to share the findings with the group and the experience of the study process. In the longer-term, this group will guide the WRC in providing the support our towns want and need as they explore the role of community wastewater and water in retaining existing homes and businesses in our villages, and what is necessary to sustain our villages for the long-term.

If you are interested in being a part of this wastewater and water peer group, please email and let us know!

Last Updated: 12 September 2018
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