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Four Corners Sewer and Water Project

Project Overview

The Four Corners Water and Sewer Project encompasses an approximately 500-acre area surrounding and extending north and west of the intersection of Routes 195 and 44 in northern Mansfield, which serves as the northern gateway to Mansfield and the University of Connecticut. This area has ground water contamination that has been monitored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for many years caused by a number of different leaks from gasoline stations as well as from failing septic systems. While these leaks have been addressed, there is a continuing need to provide adequate, clean drinking water and safe sewage disposal to this area that is limited by environmental constraints including a high groundwater table, inland wetlands and soils unsuitable for long-term use of on-site septic disposal systems. Additionally, the contamination and resulting limitations on land use have resulted in progressive deterioration of many properties in the area, leading to a blighted appearance.

The Town is proposing to develop public sewer and water systems for approximately 61 parcels in this area. Remediation of the environmental issues noted above requires a public sewer system while a public water source is needed to support sustainable redevelopment/development options that will increase the town’s tax base and help eliminate blight in the area. More details on the sewer and water system projects can be found below.

If you are interested in getting more involved, the Four Corners Sewer and Water Advisory Committee is assisting the Town Council and Town staff with evaluation of sewer and water options, financing options and dissemination of information to the public. The Committee meets monthly; agendas and minutes can be found on the Town webpage.

Four Corners Sanitary Sewer System

In January 2008, a consultant retained by the Town prepared a draft Four Corners Area Wastewater Facilities Plan (Wastewater Facilities Plan-Draft Report). This plan identified construction of a sanitary sewer system as the best approach to deal with longstanding sewage disposal challenges due to the high water table and poor soils in the area. Since the issuance of that report, the Town has identified a proposed sewer service area (shown in the map below) and worked on designing a new sanitary sewer collection system that would connect to the UConn wastewater treatment plant. The preliminary design was completed by August 2014; a concept plan showing the general location of pump stations and routing is included in the location map below:

Based on preliminary estimates, construction of the sewer system is projected to cost approximately $9 million dollars. In May 2014, the Connecticut General Assembly approved a $3 million dollar grant for the project, which will reduce the Town’s share of the project cost to approximately $6 million dollars.

FOUR CORNERS SANITARY SEWER PROJECT MILESTONES

  • The Town Council acting as the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) held a public hearing on Friday, August 22, 2014 in the Council Chamber to hear public comment on the proposed sanitary sewer system for the Four Corners area. 

  • The Town Council acting as the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) held a meeting on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in the Council Chamber and acted on a resolution to authorize and recommend the Town undertake the proposed construction of a sanitary sewer system for the Four Corners area.

  • The Town Council acting as the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) held a meeting on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in the Council Chamber and acted on a resolution to authorize and recommend the Town undertake the proposed construction of a sanitary sewer system for the Four Corners area.

  • The Town Council held a meeting on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in the Council Chamber to act on a resolution to appropriate $9,000,000 for the design, construction, permitting and installation of the proposed construction of a sanitary sewer system for the Four Corners area through. This appropriation moved forward to a referendum held on November 4, 2014.

  • The following referendum question was presented on the November 4, 2014 ballot:

“SHALL THE TOWN OF MANSFIELD APPROPRIATE $9,000,000 FOR THE FOUR CORNERS SANITARY SEWER PROJECT, AND AUTHORIZE THE ISSUE OF BONDS, NOTES AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO FINANCE THE PORTION OF THE APPROPRIATION NOT DEFRAYED FROM GRANTS (ESTIMATED NET PROJECT COST OF $6,000,000)?” Voters approving the resolution will vote “Yes” and those opposing said resolution shall vote “No”

The proposed Four Corners Sanitary Sewer System is a significant initiative that was approved by Voters on the November 4, 2014 Referendum

  • The Town Council held a meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014 in the Council Chamber and acted on a resolution to authorize the Town Manager to apply for a Small Town Economic Assistance Program Grant for $500,000 towards construction of the sanitary sewer system for the Four Corners area. 

  • As part of the $3,000,000 grant-in-aid from the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is proceeding with the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) process to review the project in accordance with CEPA regulations. A Project Scoping Notice was published in the Environmental Monitor on March 3, 2015

  • A Project Scoping Meeting was held on March 18, 2015 in the Town of Mansfield Council Chamber to solicit comments from the Public Concerning the project to evaluate the need for an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE).  A copy of the presentation is provided here A video stream of the meeting is provided here

  • The Environmental Impact Evaluation was published in the Environmental Monitor on Fegruary 2, 2016.

  • A public hearing was held on March 8, 2016.

  • The public is welcome to comment on the project through March 18, 2016 when the Public Comment period closes.  A comment form is provided here and should be mailed or e-mailed to Carlos Esguerra, Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Protection & Land Reuse, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127 carlos.esguerra@ct.gov.

  • To reduce long-term debt service on any bonds issued for the project, the Town Council, acting as the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), has the ability to assess property owners within the service district for a portion of the construction cost. These assessments typically involve annual payments to the Town over the course of twenty to thirty years and are a common method for financing infrastructure improvements. Based on the total project cost, the Town’s sewer consultant estimates that approximately $3 million dollars of the total cost could be recovered through property owner assessments in the district.  No assessments would be made until the WPCA has held a public hearing at which affected property owners would have the opportunity to be heard on the assessment proposed for their property.  A conceptual assessment, based on the current (As of August 2014) sanitary sewer ordinances, is presented Here.

 

WATER SYSTEM

One of the key challenges for the Town in expanding public water service to the Four Corners area was the limited supply of public water in the Storrs area. The University of Connecticut has provided public water service to both the campus and some off-campus properties for many years; however, their existing supply from the Fenton and Willimantic River wellfields had reached capacity. In 2011, UConn initiated the process to identify a new source of water for both the campus and the town. The resulting Water Supply Environmental Impact Evaluation identified a connection with Connecticut Water Company (CWC) as the preferred alternative. This connection would include extension of an existing pipeline along Route 195 from Tolland to the UConn water tanks.

In January 2014, the Town Council approved an agreement with CWC; under this agreement, CWC will take over service to current off-campus customers and provide service to new customers. Key features of the agreement include:

  • Pipeline Route. The agreement establishes the route for the pipeline that will connect CWC’s system in Tolland to the UCONN water tanks. The route will follow Route 195 for the entire length of the connection. Additionally, CWC will be constructing a water main along Route 44 between the Rolling Hills mobile home community and the intersection with Route 195.

  • Project Financing. The CWC will finance and construct the pipelines described above, which has the added benefit of providing direct service to the Four Corners area. The route and financing commitment established in the agreement eliminate the need for the town to finance construction of water lines in this area, an estimated savings of ±$3 million dollars.

  • Customer Rates. Current UCONN water customers will continue to enjoy their existing water rates after becoming CWC customers; future rate increases will be subject to approval by PURA. New customers will be subject to standard CWC rates.

  • Development Controls. The Agreement specifies under what circumstances CWC can approve a connection to the system. No connections will be approved for projects requiring approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission until those approvals have been received. Additionally, the PZC is in the process of updating the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development and Zoning Regulations through the Mansfield Tomorrow initiative. As part of these updates, it is anticipated that the PZC will adopt new regulations related to water connections to prevent the pipeline from inducing growth in undesired areas.

  • Advisory Committee. The Agreement commits to establishment of an Advisory Committee to provide local input on operation of the system in Mansfield, including issues such as proposed system expansions, best management practices, and water conservation programs. Details on committee membership and responsibilities are contained in a Memorandum of Agreement that was approved by the Town Council in April 2014.

Now that CWC has executed agreements with both the University and the Town, the next step is for them to obtain permits for the pipeline that will connect CWC’s existing system in Tolland to the UCONN water tanks. The permitting process is expected to take 6-12 months to complete. As part of CWC’s agreement with the University, they have committed to completing the pipeline within 18 months of receiving permits. Based on those projected timelines, we expect the water project will be completed in the summer of 2016. Once the project is completed, existing off-campus UCONN water customers will become customers of CWC.

Document Library 

Connecticut Water Company Northern Region Water Supply Plan-Redacted Version

The following documents comprise Connecticut Water Company’s Northern Region Water Supply Plan. Certain security sensitive sections have been redacted.  Anyone interested in reviewing the redacted material should contact Connecticut Water Company.  A confidentiality agreement will be needed to view the redacted information.

 

Northern Region Water Supply Plan

Appendices

Land Use and Supply Map C

Land Use and Supply Map E

Land Use and Supply Map F


Maps

Contact Information

For more information, please contact either:

Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building, 4 South Eagleville Road, Mansfield, Connecticut 06268-2599