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Westport Y Prefers Sewer Over Septic for New Digs

WESTPORT, Conn. – Although the Westport Weston Family Y already has the necessary approvals to install an in-ground septic system at its planned new facility on its Mahackeno campus, Y officials are looking to instead connect to the town’s sewer system.

Hooking up to the Westport sanitary sewer system, versus installing a septic system, would be more beneficial for the town, Family Y CEO Rob Reeve told a roomful of residents that live in the neighborhoods around the planned new facility.

"Over 100 trees in total would have to be clear cut with the septic system,” Reeves said Wednesday night, explaining that the sewer line would save those trees. That’s about 1.5 acres of woodlands, he said.

Peter Romano, a partner at Land-Tech Consultants Inc., a Westport-based environmental and engineering consulting firm, said the proposed Y sewer line would travel from the Mahackeno facility, under Lee’s Pond, down Calumet Lane, then down part of Clinton Avenue to Oak Street, where it would connect with Westport’s existing line.

This, he said, would enable residents of those areas to hook up to the municipal sewer line, if they chose. And because the line is being installed by the Y, not the town, he said it will cost residents almost nothing.

“Neighbors will have to pay a sewer use fee, but you’ll have no assessment [fees] associated with the installation, unlike municipal projects," Romano said.

The proposed line would be 2,500 feet long and 3 inches in diameter, Romano said. It would be made of PVC piping and, because it would be thermo-fused, he said it would essentially be one continuous pipe. This would better protect against leaks. But to be on the safe side, Romano said, the line would also be equipped with a built-in alarm that would notify of any leaks.

The Y sewer line would also have a backup generator, just in case of power outages, Romano said.

Because of its design, Reeves said, the sewer line would better protect the Saugatuck River.

Martin Yellin, a former chairman of the Conservation Commission, voiced his support for the proposed sewer line, saying  it is “more desirable” over the installation of a septic system.

The Y recently submitted an application to Westport to connect to the municipal sanity sewer system. The Board of Selectmen, acting in its capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, will review the application at a public hearing in April, Romano said.

Construction on the planned new facility is slated to begin in October .

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