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Norwalk Cool to Adding Westport Homes to Sewer Plant

By Brian Lockhart
Norwalk Advocate - Appearedin

A review of a proposal to connect upwards of 320 Westport households to Norwalk's wastewater treatment plant has left city officials with more questions than answers, according to today’s The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk.

"We felt the engineering report submitted by the Westport Public Works consultant was not adequate and did not examine many Norwalk issues," Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp told the newspaper.

"We've sought more information. There will be no recommendation until we receive it."

Knopp and Norwalk Public Works staff last month received a report drafted by engineering firm Dewberry-Goodkind that recommends Westport provide sanitary sewer lines to the Saugatuck Shores peninsula on the Norwalk border.

The plan calls for running sewer lines to Norwalk's South Smith Street plant instead of Westport's sewage treatment facility located off of I-95 and Compo Road South.

Westport officials say the combination of aging septic systems in Saugatuck Shores and the neighborhood's low water table are causing environmental problems that sanitary sewers could solve, the report said.

The Norwalk Water Pollution Control Authority, which oversees the plant, is scheduled to begin discussing the Westport proposal at its meeting Monday night.

Knopp told The Advocate that the city is going to take its time considering the proposal for the very reason that he believes Westport could still hook up Saugatuck Shores to its own plant.

"It's not a matter of such dire necessity that those families would be left with no alternative," Knopp said, adding his major concern "is the impact on the future capacity of the Norwalk wastewater treatment plant."

Norwalk Common Council president and Water Pollution Control Authority member Bruce Kimmel, a Democrat, and council minority leader Douglas Hempstead have several questions about Westport's proposal, the newspaper said.

"Why aren't they using Westport's facilities?" Kimmel asked.

Hempstead said with Norwalk planning to add nearly 2,000 new units of housing in neighborhoods targeted for urban renewal, his concerns are about the plant's capacity.

"If we take Westport's sewage . . . it limits Norwalk's ability to take internally more of our stuff in the future," Hempstead said. "Let Westport take Westport's sewage . . . Why are we even talking about this?"

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