POW Sewer System

Q1. What is the WPCA?

A.The Water Pollution Control Authority. It is required by the State of Connecticut in order to qualify for state grants and loan. Ct. State statutes dictate the rules under which the WPCA operates and gives the WPCA the authority to manage the construction process, assess benefits to property owners, and to collect fees to pay for and maintain the system.

Q2. What is a Benefit Assessment?

A. A Benefit Assessment is the method used to determine the cost of the sewer and water system for each property owner. The method must be based on the benefit received from the system. In our case the benefit is the availability of the water and sewer systems to all property owners within POW.

Q3. What cost is associated with the sewer /water system?

A. The costs are:

  • Your assessment, based on one unit, is $19,600 a year.
  • If you have not yet connected to the system, the connection fee will depend on the topography of your property, distance from the lateral to your home, the contractor you choose and whether or not you decide to replace your water connections at the same time.
  • A User Fee which is voted on at a public hearing each year.
  • If you own a grinder pump, an estimated yearly expense of $100.00 in electrical bills.

Q4. How is the assessment paid?

A. If you chose to pay it over 19 ½ years at 2% interest, the yearly cost is $1223.54 paid in two equal installments which are due each October 1st and April 1st through 2029. You also have the option of paying it off in full at any time. Please contact the WPCA Treasurer for the payoff amount.

Q5. What is a User Fee?

A. A User Fee ensures that sufficient revenue is generated to operate the sewer system.

Q6. What expenses are included in the User Fee?

A. The User Fee is comprised of the following components:

  • Charges from East Lyme to use their sewer system( based on actual flow)
  • The cost for Point O’ Woods to operate and maintain the system (i.e. electricity, repairs, maintenance, administrative)
  • A reserve fund for the repair or replacement of major mechanical components

Q7. What is the amount of the User Fee?

A. This fee is voted on each year at a public hearing. For the current fee, please refer to the post hearing legal notice referred to on our home page.

Q8. When is the User Fee due?

A. The User Fee is due July 1st of each year.

Q9. Are there any late fees if I do not pay the Assessment or User Fee on time?

A. The W PCA is required to follow state statutes and adds a 1 ½ % late charge, per month, to any late payment. We are audited annually and must comply with this statute. If someone does not pay either their user fee or benefit assessment, we will apply liens to the property records.

Q10.What increases to our annual fees might we expect, over time, from East Lyme and any upgrade to the New London Waste Treatment Facility?

A. POW will have to pay our share of upgrades to the regional sanitary treatment plant. Our share will be 1% or less of the upgrade cost. For example a $1 million upgrade would cost POW $10,000 or a little over $20.00 per cottage.

Q11. How was the project funded?

A. Funding included:

  • DEEP loan for 19 ½ years, at 2% for the sewer project up to 75% of the cost
  • DEEP grant for sewers of up to 25% of project costs
  • Connecticut Water Company provided $.8 million for the water portion of the project (estimated cost of materials). In addition, Connecticut Water Company provided approximately $1 million in materials.
  • DWSRF, State of Connecticut, 19 ½ year, 2.1% loan for water of up to $800,000

Q12. Who will maintain our system?

A. The WPCA hires a company to maintain our pump stations and grinder pumps. Currently, we have contracted with Water & Waste Equipment, Inc. Their contact information can be found under “contact” on our website. Their phone number is (860) 613-0401.

Q13. I have a grinder pump. Are there maintenance procedures I should be aware of when operating my grinder pump?

A. Yes. Grinder pump owners should be aware of the following information: Grinder Pump Users

Q14. Who will pay for the maintenance of the grinder pumps?

A. The Association pays for maintaining the grinder pumps.

Q15. I own a lot that I plan to build on. If I have a State DOH conforming and legal septic and well, will I be charged for the project or forced to hook up to the system?

A. You will be charged the benefit assessment and 20% of the User Fee. In addition, when and if POW is charged a regional fee for upgrades, you will be expected to pay your share. You will not be required to hook-up to the system. However, your system must meet the State Health requirements WITHOUT variances. The only exception is the requirement for a second leeching field. Should your system fail or require repairs in the future, you will be required at that time to hook-up and pay 100% of the User Fee.

Q16. How do I determine if I meet the State Health requirements?

A. Please see the Connection Exemption Application

Q17. When the time comes what will I need to do to hook-up my house to the Point O’ Woods sewer system?

A. In order to hook up to the system residents should understand it may require these steps:

  • You or your contractor will need to apply for a permit from the WPCA. Click here to download the Sewer Connection Application.
  • If the hook up requires plumbing work in your house you or your contractor will need to get a permit from the Town of Old Lyme building department.
  • You will be required to abandon your septic system in accordance with the public health code. There is a WPCA form (Septic Abandonment Application) that will need to be filled out and filed with the WPCA that documents its proper destruction/abandonment. The final connection to the house cannot be made until it has been validated that the septic tank has been destroyed and filled in. That connection and the tanks destruction should probably be done simultaneously.

Q18. Can I hire my own contractor to perform the connection?

A. Yes. The only requirement is that the contractor be a properly licensed drain layer in the State of Connecticut.

Q19. If I decide to lower my water pipe connection below the frost line, can it be put in the same trench as the sewer?

A. Yes. But this must be discussed with the contractor and the town to make sure the health codes are met. There are spacing and sleeving issues which must be incorporated into the installation.

Q20. If I lower the water line to my cottage, will Connecticut Water Company continue to shut off the water seasonally?

A. Yes. The water company will come out to individual homes and shut off those properties designated as seasonal. The property owner can apply for a seasonal extension for water service up through December 31st. Click here to download this form.

Q21. Will I be able to live at POW year round once I am connected?

A. You will be able to reside at POW year round only if the Town of Old Lyme provides you with a Certificate of Occupancy for year- round use.

Q22. How can additional questions be answered?

A. Association members are invited to attend any WPCA meeting. The meeting schedule is posted on this web site under “meetings.” You are also invited to call, e-mail or meet with any WPCA member. Contact information is also on the web site under “contact.”

Q23. I am a new resident of POW, will I have access to all information previously published by the WPCA?

A. Most of the information can be found in the archived sections of this website. For any additional information, please send a written request to the Secretary of the WPCA at PO Box 186, South Lyme, CT 06376.

If your question was not answered here, click here to submit an email to a WPCA member.