Protect the Partrick Wetlands
and our Community

Stop the extension of the Sewer System on Newtown Road

LET LOGIC PREVAIL!!!!! Stop the extension of the Sewer System on Newtown Road. I want to thank Mayor Knopp for the creation and implementation of the Cranbury Area Study Team. It is a great way for the residents and the City Officials to exchange views in an informal and "town meeting" style format.

On Monday, May 17th, there was an interactive meeting about the proposed extension of the Norwalk sewerage system into Westport to accommodate a Westport development by ARS. The proposed sewer will extend the existing Norwalk system up Newtown Road into Westport.

I have learned to make decisions based on the facts. Let me outline what I have learned are the facts about this issue:

Fact # 1- Mr. Closter, as reported in the Hour, concluded: " we don't see any high rate of failure in this area". He said the soil in the area is sand and gravel and this is good for septic systems.
Fact #2- No one in the Cranbury area has petitioned for sewers.
Fact # 3- If the system is installed, it may require that those hooking up to the system install a pumping system and have a back-up generator.
Fact # 4- the residents of Westport don't want the sewers extended, since it will increase development and add to traffic congestion.
Fact # 5- The Town of Westport will NOT extend their system to accommodate the ARS development and have suggested that there are other ways for this development to conform.
Fact # 6- Norwalk has refused to provide sewers to the Saugatuck Shores area since it will potentially strain the current sewerage system.
Fact # 7 there are continuing reports that the Norwalk system has violated the law and has been fined. The Mayor asserts that the system is okay, except when there are heavy rains and there are no plans to add to the system.
Fact # 8- The current Norwalk System is operating at 75% of capacity but there are a number of approved developments that will add to the utilization. These are a few of them:
  • Avalon in Norwalk Center will build apartments.
  • The Merritt Seven area has several new office complexes.
  • South Norwalk will have both offices, apartments, commercial areas and apartments
  • Wilton is adding more offices and apartments.
  • The Pepperidge Farm property may have over 400 apartments.
Fact # 9- The sewerage extension to Westport, via Newtown Road, was approved by the Council four years ago, because the council was not looking at the total impact and there were only 50 residents asked to comment on the extension of the system. It looked like a good deal for Norwalk since the developer would install the system. The Hour reported that both Council President Bruce Kimmel and Councilman Doug Hempstead, Cranbury residents, both oppose the sewer extension.

Fact # 10- if the system is extended into Westport it will set a precedent and may permit other developers in surrounding towns to hook up with the Norwalk system, even if their own towns will not provide them access to their systems.

Based on these facts these are my conclusions:

1. No one, except the Westport developer, ARS, wants or will benefit from the sewerage extension.
2. Installing a sewerage system will only add more development, increase congestion and add costs to our school system.
3. It is NOT FREE… to anyone; in fact, it is costly to everyone, since it destroys the quality of the life in both the Cranbury and Westport areas.
4. Norwalk must evaluate whether its current system is adequate for the additions that have ALREADY been approved, and not add to the utilization by allowing other towns to use what is left.
5. Norwalk must communicate to all of the impacted residents the real COST of this system. IT IS NOT FREE since they will have increased taxes and also be required to invest a pump and possibly, a back-up generator.
6. Norwalk must assess the total impact on the communities and not just jump at what appears only on the surface to be "free extension".
Therefore, it is clear to me that there is only one decision and that is to override the decision made four years ago and not extend the sewerage system into Westport or any other surrounding town.

Once this decision is made, then the task force can focus on how to preserve the integrity of the Cranbury area and determine how to prevent the development of the White Barn area, which is highly valuable open space.

Bill Rothschild