The community is invited to join a virtual Public Meeting on February 3, 2022 to discuss the findings of the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP) and available options for the Town to protect public health and safety and to preserve and protect groundwater sources and the environment. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00PM, with a brief presentation regarding the CWMP, followed by a question-and-answer session. Residents, business owners and all interested parties may join the meeting through the Zoom link below:
Overview of the CWMP
Pollutants and various contaminants infiltrating groundwater resources with the potential to impact a community’s water resources is a growing concern across the Commonwealth. Groundwater contamination is nearly always the result of human activity, many times unknowingly on the part of the polluter. In areas where population density is high and human use of the land is intensive, groundwater can be especially vulnerable to these human impacts. One such impact is through the use of on-site wastewater systems, many times referred to as septic systems. As part of the Town of Sudbury’s commitment to identify and ultimately reduce environmental impacts and to protect and preserve the Town’s water resources, the Town, in conjunction with Woodard & Curran, has been assessing the current and future wastewater needs by examining existing conditions throughout the entire Town. This includes an investigation throughout the Town’s borders of how existing on-site wastewater systems are operating and given specific datasets related to the geographic conditions if on-site wastewater systems are long-term sustainable. Of specific concern are the areas in Town along the Route 20 Business Corridor and the geographic areas where the Town’s drinking water supplies are located. The Study, the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP), was approved at May 2019 Annual Town Meeting, is evaluating the entire Town to determine if on-site wastewater systems are long-term sustainable and if not, what appropriate alternatives should be evaluated. The CWMP is Sudbury’s commitment to undertake wastewater planning to address some, or all, of the following issues:
- Public health concerns
- Protection of groundwater and drinking water resources
- Protection of surface waters, including nutrient loading
- Support of sustainable, community aligned, economic development
- Addressing aesthetics and convenience concerns attributable to wastewater issues
The Town’s wastewater investigations began more than a quarter of a century ago, with a groundwater resource study by Motts in 1977, and over the years, the Town continued to chart the long-term balance of community growth, and the environmental impact it has had on Sudbury’s natural resources. Each of the studies performed over the years has identified on-site wastewater systems to be an environmental concern due to the proximity of these systems that are located close to resource areas, specifically those that are near the Town’s municipal water supply wells in the Raymond Road Aquifer area and Hop Brook Aquifer area. Another topic of concern that has been identified in the studies is the growing development in the Town of Sudbury. The Town experienced dramatic growth between 1990 and 2000 when the population increased 17 percent from 14,358 to 16,841. It slowed to 5 percent over the next decade, and in 2017, the population was estimated to be 18,697, another increase of 6 percent. This higher density of development adds to concerns with both residential and non-residential development given the characteristics of the wastewater.
Woodard & Curran is responsible for reviewing the wastewater needs through data from the Sudbury Board of Health records, Assessor datasets, zoning information relative to individual parcel information, geographic mapping of environmental resources and a myriad of other relative data to determine not only current use, but also future uses as well. This information will serve to assist the Town in its current conditions planning, well into the future.
As part of the CWMP, it is vital that the community is well informed and educated on the wastewater study. It is also important to solicit input from the community throughout the process so that in the end, Sudbury’s long-term wastewater plan serves the needs of the community.
Visit sudbury.ma.us/dpw/cwmp/ to learn more about the CWMP. Sudbury residents, business owners and interested parties are encouraged to send questions in advance of the Public Meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.