Lawmakers tour Goshen wastewater treatment plant

May 1, 2023

Lawmakers tour Goshen wastewater treatment plant


GOSHEN — A pair of state legislators made what is believed to be an unprecedented visit to the Woodridge Lake Sewer District wastewater treatment plant on Friday.

State Sen. Stephen Harding Jr., R-Brookfield, and state Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, were at the facility upon the invitation of the WLSD board of directors.

After a tour and meeting lasting about an hour, they pledged to support the board as it works to keep the more than 50-year-old plant operating.

“We were impressed with the staff and all they do to keep the facility going with the infrastructure they have,” Harding said. “Our hope is that we can continue to work with them collaboratively to securing funding and the approvals that would be needed to approve their system.”

Harding and Horn met with board President Raymond Turri, Vice President and Treasurer James Mersfelder, board member Jerry Abrahams, and plant Superintendent Mark Theriault. First Selectman Todd M. Carusillo and Selectman Dexter S. Kinsella were there too.

“We’ve never had a state representative or a state senator here before,” Turri said. “We wanted to show them what we are doing and how important we are to the town, and we’re pleased that they are taking an interest in the facility.”

The plant services 726 homes in the development around Woodridge Lake and is fed by a collection system of 16 miles of pipes. Water treated by the plant is discharged into a 93-acre field of ridges and furrows that filter the water as it is absorbed by the ground.

“It works, and it’s worked well for more than 50 years,” Mersfelder said.

For more than 40 years, however, WLSD has been under a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection order to upgrade the plant to modern standards because the ridge and furrow system no longer meets DEEP regulations.

WLSD has ruled out an upgrade due to a projected cost north of $30 million. A plan to pipe wastewater to Torrington has been ruled out too for the same reason, leaving WLSD proposing the idea of sending its sewage to Litchfield’s wastewater treatment facility.

The Litchfield plan has generated some controversy due to the route a pipe system would take. After meeting with the WLSD representatives, Harding said the Litchfield proposal isn’t viable.

“Too many roadblocks and too many issues to resolve,” Harding said. “It seems to be a problem we have to resolve here.”

Harding and Horn both serve on the legislature’s environment committee and pledged to work with DEEP on a solution for WLSD.