Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford
Water Board Minutes 4/20/04

The meeting was called to order by Bob Sird at 6:30 P.M.  Water Board Commissioners present were Bob Sird, Larry Pomainville and Chris Hanrahan.  Also present were Paul Kulig, Tom Nesbitt, Bruce Babcock, Helen McKinlay, Mark Hayes, Tim Raymond, Jean Nicolai, David Webb, Dr. Harry Chen, Michael Pluta, Joe & Jeannie Podolak, Atty. Jim Leary, Wendell & Shelley Smith, Robert Beatty, Kathleen Lawrence, John & Marion Campbell, Randy Johnson, Jane Munroe, Dermot Hughes, and Seth Harkness – Rutland Herald,

Randy Shipling - Rural Development.


Minutes of 3/23/04 and 4/13/04 were reviewed, discussed and approved. 


The orders of 4/20/04 were reviewed, discussed and approved.

Mark Hayes Water Line

Bruce Babcock reviewed Mark Hayes’s permit application and water line map information with the Water Board.  Mark Hayes has requested to turn the water line over to the Pittsford Water Department.  Mark will grant a deeded right of way to the Town.  Paul Kulig will finalize the right of way.

R. Sird introduced members of the Water Board and town representatives, Paul Kulig – Attorney, Tom Nesbitt – Dufresne/Henry Engineer, Bruce Babcock – Water Superintendent, Helen McKinlay – Water Department Manager, Tim Raymond – Water Supply Division System Operations Manager, Jean Nicolai – Water Supply Division – Water Systems Operations & Compliance Chief, David Webb – Water Supply Division Environmental Engineer and Dr. Harry Chen – Chittenden/Mendon House Representative.

Tim Raymond gave an overview of the Pittsford Water System.  Sanitary survey issues of the water system need to be addressed.  The issue of insuring potable water from the springs to the tap was discussed.  The process of chlorine concentration and chlorine contact time for disinfecting was described.  The Water Supply Division in 1993 identified the lack of chlorine contact time at the Walker Springs location.  The Walker Springs was determined to be vulnerable due to cows in the source protection area.  A series of schedules were attached to the Town’s Temporary Permit to Operate.  The Town of Pittsford has now secured control of the source protection area with the recent purchase of the Parker property surrounding the springs.  This area is scheduled to be fenced during summer 2004.  State and Federal water regulations require continuous chlorination.  Suggested alternatives to obtain the 20 minute chlorine contact time such as a storage tank, a flat pipe designed to slow down the water, serpentine water line and changing the type of chlorination to flow pace versus erosionable to control concentration were reviewed by T. Raymond.  State laws do not permit the flow off of chlorinated water into the environment without dechlorination treatment.

Items to be taken into consideration regarding the water system are the facts the lines are old and may reveal leaks.  Reliable water pressure would not result if leaks were present in the lines.  The Town would need to demonstrate safety without contamination of the water line from source to end user tap.  Water distribution in 3” to 4” lines, fire hydrants with inadequate pressures may also enable contamination to enter drinking water system.  Cross contamination was also discussed as a possible issue.  T. Raymond urged the Water Board to continue working on the series of improvements that will not come cheaply to this community.  T. Raymond acknowledged the removal of the Chittenden residents from the water system would be the least expensive alternative to Pittsford but stated they would like to see that not happen.  T. Raymond stated that if they can’t encourage the Town to make improvements in a timely manner the State would now consider enforcement. 

A plan must be implemented to address technical issues.  The State would consider providing more time to consider other options than disconnection of the 13 Chittenden residents.  The significant issues must be addressed in a comprehensive manner. 

T. Raymond addressed the use of ultraviolet light and explained UV does not carry disinfectant.  If the state were to accept the usage of UV other concerns would need to be addressed in advance such as the characteristics of the water.  UV sounds easy but the cost of installation and maintenance is not inexpensive to operate. 

Dr. Harry Chen stated he was interested to know all of the alternatives available to the Chittenden water users.  Dr. Chen asked the Water Board if these alternatives were less costly than the chlorination system that they are considered. 

Chlorination treatment costs and required equipment were discussed. T. Raymond stated that if the Town were to discontinue chlorination it would allow the Town to avoid the cost for dechlorination.  Water user service connections and annual rates were discussed.  T. Raymond stated the decision is that of the Town not the State.  J. Nicolai stated this is a local decision.  The State is concerned regarding any public health implication.  Water quality in the area and possible contamination must be considered.  Homeowners would be responsible for their own well locations.  D. Webb stated a less expensive chlorination facility could be an option. T. Nesbitt advised the Town had received a feasible cost study with the given locations and the necessary equipment to meet the State requirements.  The availability of electrical power at the spring was discussed.  The Water Board stressed to all concerned a Town bond vote would not pass under these circumstances.  Therefore, the Water Board cannot commit to this project.  The Water Board also reminded the residents of the high cost of maintenance associated with a chlorination system.  The proposed Chittenden chlorination project would cost more to maintain than the chlorinator that presently serves the entire Town.  The cost of maintenance is estimated at $30,000 per year.

Atty. Jim Leary asked the Water Board if they would consider alternatives to enable ANR to extend the November 15, 2004 deadline. 

T. Raymond asked about the number of residences to be shut off the water system in Chittenden.  T. Raymond was concerned about the Parker farm and if they would be receiving any water.  David Parker’s and his mother’s homes receive drinking water from their own spring.  The Town was considering the use of untreated water for the cows as approved by the State Agriculture Department.  T. Raymond informed the Water Board this would qualify as a service connection and must be chlorinated as such.  P. Kulig clarified the deed allowed the barn not to receive water if it did not meet State regulations. 

T. Nesbitt asked T. Raymond to describe the on site rules to the homeowners in attendance. 

The State has revised on site water and wastewater rules.  The ten-acre loophole has been eliminated.  As of 2007 all new sources will require water and wastewater permits.  Until 2007 set backs and properly designed wastewater will be required but not a state permit.  T. Raymond urged the Chittenden residents to talk with their Town representatives on this matter.  Residents were told they would need to obtain the proper state and/or town permits and this would be the responsibility of the individual homeowners.  The minimum State requirements for WasteWater Permit would be required.  Licensed well diggers would be aware of the regulations.  Chittenden residents were informed to find out proper requirements they should contact Roger Thompson – Wastewater Management Engineering Manager or David Swift – Environmental Conservation Regional Engineer.  D. Swift’s office is located in the Asa Bloomer Building in Rutland, VT. 

Wendell Smith shared concerns of drilling a well within 300’ of the Sand Springs area.  The Water Board in January 2002 had notified him his property was in the well protection area.  Issues regarding capping of wells and dealing with a flowing well were discussed.  A map of the source protection area was reviewed.  T. Raymond stated he would send W. Smith a copy of this map.  W. Smith’s house is located 300’ from the source protection area and is down hill from the spring.  Cost associated with grouting and capping of wells was discussed.

Atty. J. Leary suggested the water the 13 residences receive from a well might not be of the same quality as the users are used to at the present time.  Concerns of geological issues with 13 wells being drilled in the area at the same time were discussed.  Water lines being old and crossing properties to be shut off were discussed.  B. Sird described the unbelievable good condition of the old pipes both inside and out due to the hard waters which is high in calcium.  This condition allows the pipes to carry more water now than when originally installed.  Original owners deeded the water right of way to the Pittsford Water System approximately 110 to 115 years ago.  Houses have been built more recently in this area. 

T. Raymond confirmed these springs were considered to be pristine.  Water rules have changed.  Drinking water from these springs in raw condition has gone on for hundreds of years.  Due to new State and Federal regulations the State is telling the Town this water is not fit to consume without continuos chlorination.  Alternative solutions were discussed but the reality of the situation is even using an alternative solution such as UV the Town would still be required to provide the continuous chlorination.  If UV were to be approved or given an exception for use the water would require be pre-treating, chlorinating and dechlorinating.  The UV systems in each individual home will require the Town to operate and maintain.   

T. Raymond stated the water system to be a pristine ground water source not under the influence of surface water.   Questions were posed by T. Raymond regarding the possible discontinuation of chlorination entirely.  Discussion followed about stand by chlorination availability requirements should coliform or other contamination be later discovered.  The decision was to continue chlorination due to the vulnerability of the system.  The State requires the Town to have the system availability as stand by regardless.  Chlorine must be controlled, maintained consistently with measured concentration of disinfection and results recorded.  

J. Leary asked if the North Chittenden water users would be required to have the same equipment. 

Cost was again discussed as the main issue.  D. Webb asked if the chlorination system pricing was real.  D. Webb suggested perhaps a smaller system without all the bells and whistles should be an option.  The Water Board confirmed a reputable firm had been utilized to provide a system to meet State requirements.  The Water Board reminded D. Webb of the distance between the source and each of the homes.  Regardless, if the overall cost is $280,000 or $80,000 plus the maintenance cost this project cost is still cost prohibitive for the Town.   

Chittenden water users asked if the State could possibly make money available to establish a water district for these 13 residences.  T. Raymond informed the Chittenden residents that if the water district provided water to 25 people it would fall under the same State regulations for chlorination.  The Town of Chittenden would be eligible for the $1000 to $2000 engineering money available to investigate this option.  The Water Board informed the Chittenden residents it had already spent in excess of $30,000 to investigate viable options. 

T. Nesbitt asked T. Raymond to explain the State regulations regarding “first in time” rules of the State.  “First in time” regulations require new wells not be allowed to adversely affect the Water System.  This regulation promotes a flowing well to be capped so as not to create a flowing artesian well. 

D. Webb asked the Water Board what percentage the proposed chlorination project would have in a bond vote at the time of the Route 7 upgrade.  The Water Board explained only the water users pay into the water funds.  There is not a percentage of property tax charged to all residents.  A bond vote would require a vote of all Pittsford residents.  Recent feedback from residents to date has been negative. 

The State-revolving loan was discussed.  Water rates and median family incomes would be necessary.  NERWA will be providing a rate analysis to the Town this year.

The Temporary Operating Permit should be received within two weeks.  The State has asked the Town how much time will be needed to accomplish the upgrades to the water system.  The State needs to see real preliminary engineering and final design is in process to insure the Town will be ready and have money in place when AOT is ready to go with the Route 7 project.  The general consensus of both the State and Water Board was we are currently two years away from completion at a minimum.  The Route 7-project time frame remains a moving target at this time.  AOT has yet to obtain right of ways.  The State stressed they have no reason to believe the Town is serious about going forward with the upgrades without final design being worked on and plans being formulated to prepare for a bond.  Jean Nicolai informed the Board they could expect to see the Temporary Operating License with specific dates within two weeks.  Should the Town have issue with the completion dates a grievance letter may be submitted directly to Jay Rutherford.  An extension date is expected to grant the Town an additional year to resolve the chlorination system issues.  The Town will notify the N. Chittenden residents in writing of such information as it’s received from the State.  J. 

Nicolai informed the Board if there is a problem with completion dates the Water Dept. could request an amendment to the permit. 

Randy Shipling – Rural Development told residents about loans available through Rural Development to single families or water districts.  Single family eligibility is based on income and age.  Rural Development loans are available at a rate of 1% interest with up to 20 years to repay loans.  Applications were made available to residents. 

The Chittenden water users, Atty. Leary, R. Shipling departed at 8:40 P.M.

The Water Board provided T. Raymond, J. Nicolai and D. Webb with a progress report of work already accomplished since the last sanitary survey and projects currently being worked on as well as schedule dates for long term projects.  A copy of this report was provided to T. Raymond. 

The Water Board scheduled a Special Water Board meeting for May 4th at 7:00 P.M.  The Four Season’s bid package and construction permit will be discussed at this time.  The Mitchell’s Tees & Signs water application will be discussed further.  The Board requests Terry Mitchell to please attend this meeting to answer installation questions.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:05 P.M.

Respectfully submitted:

Larry Pomainville, Recording Clerk

Bob Sird, Chairman

Helen McKinlay, Recording Secretary

Chris Hanrahan, Vice-Chairman


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