Ellington to pump larger sewer flow into Vernon

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon/Ellington - posted Fri., Apr. 5, 2013
Vernon Deputy Mayor Brian Motola asked about the quality of Ellington's sewage output. Photos by Steve Smith.
Vernon Deputy Mayor Brian Motola asked about the quality of Ellington's sewage output. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Vernon Town Council approved a second modification to an inter-municipal sewer agreement between the town of Vernon, the town of Ellington, and both towns' Water Pollution Control Authorities, but not before some discussion. The agreement would increase Ellington's allowable flow into the plant from 1,020,000 gallons per day to 1.4 million gallons.

Vernon WPCA Director David Ignatowicz said the agreement, which was first signed in 2003 and again modified in 2005, came into being because Ellington had its own sewer system which flows into Vernon's plant, but did not want to pay for the entire system. Vernon now credits Ellington for using its own system, as long as it does not exceed certain a volume.

“This agreement [modification] is going to be of mutual benefit to both communities,” Ignatowicz said. “Ellington is going to utilize the excess capacity that is currently existing in the plant. Vernon gets an additional $180,000 up front from the town of Ellington, which gets applied to the debt service of the plant, which is a benefit to all taxpayers. Vernon sewer users, also taxpayers, will get the benefit of not having to give out that credit every year of $31,000. So, over 10 years, you're looking at $310,000, approximately. The other beauty of it is that, when the time comes for future upgrades at the plant, Ellington is going to pay about 20 percent of those costs of the upgrade, as opposed to the 14 percent that they pay now.”

The increased usage will not exceed the capacity of the current plant and will help offset the loss of volume of the last year.

Councilman Michael Winkler asked what the advantage is for Ellington.

“They need the additional flow,” Ignatowicz said, adding that while Ellington's actual flow is currently well below the threshold, future plans would necessitate a larger capacity.

“How is the water – the sewage they are going to send us, is it good sewage?” asked Deputy Mayor Brian Motola, jokingly. But Ignatowicz said that was actually a good question.

“They have to live by local ordinances as well, so they can't discharge things that are not amenable,” Ignatowicz said.

The plant, which is located on Windsorville Road, not far from the Ellington line, also processes sewage from other towns. According to Ignatowicz, Tolland uses about 400,000 gallons per day, and South Windsor and Manchester use smaller percentages.

The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

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