Sewer capacity commitments approved for Littleton Drive, Settler’s Glen

Jun 24, 2021

Although members of the sewer commission were not ready to “open the floodgates” and guarantee that sewer capacity commitments would be available for any number of future developments in town, the commission approved gallonage six projects in the queue during a June 24 meeting. 

The six approved projects were projected to require the wastewater treatment plant to process more than 35,000 gallons of sewage each day. 

The 93-unit housing complex at Littleton Drive and the 20-unit Settler’s Glen condo complex on Red Brook Road were among the projects granted approval on June 24, effectively ending a months-long moratorium on capacity commitments. 

“I think they’re all good projects,” said Guy Campinha, the director of water pollution control in Wareham. “We have a report that says we can move forward with these.” 

But Campinha noted that “after this batch” the commission would need to continue being cautious when granting sewer capacity commitments. 

Russ Kleekamp, an engineer with GHD, told the commissioners that the town’s committed flows exceeded the treatment plant’s ability to process additional sewage, which is about 180,000 gallons per day. 

“But a lot of these projects you’ve been discussing are several years out,” Kleekamp said. “At this stage in the game, the projects you have in front of you [...] we know we have remaining capacity.” 

Kleekamp suggested a first-come, first-served approach might be the best bet in the future to “keep an eye on” the commitments as the plant gets closer to using up its remaining 180,000-gallon capacity. He noted that the projected flows from completed projects aren’t always in line with the actual flows, so the plant’s capacity would change as projects were finished. 

“We have projects all the time,” Kleekamp said. “So we have to stay on top of it. But the good news is you have a good chunk of capacity. It will be likely used up between three, four, five years from now. And once we hit that [...] there’s really no more band-aids that the plant can do.”

He said that having the two new equalization basins that hold excess flow on busy or rainy days provides a “level of comfort” that the plant can manage an increase in demand. 

Campinha assured the commissioners that options are still being explored for increasing the town’s ability to process sewage. He said he hopes that in two to three years, as development projects actually begin to use their capacity commitments, some solutions will be in place. 

In the meantime, however, Kleekamp recommended the commissioners approve the six projects in the queue and remove the moratorium. 

“There’s no need to keep this moratorium any longer,” he said. “Let’s get development going, get new users tied in, keep pushing forward.” 

The commissioners unanimously voted to approve capacity commitments for the six projects in the queue and to begin a new queue that will keep projects on hold and awaiting individual approval.