Tiverton sewer project going to bid in October

Mandatory tie-ins required, with temporary exceptions; meetings set

Posted 9/19/19

TIVERTON — The Tiverton Wastewater District has won US Department of Agriculture approval for the design and plan of Phase 1 of the sewer expansion project in the Robert Gray and Riverside Drive …

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Tiverton sewer project going to bid in October

Mandatory tie-ins required, with temporary exceptions; meetings set

Posted

TIVERTON — The Tiverton Wastewater District has won US Department of Agriculture approval for the design and plan of Phase 1 of the sewer expansion project in the Robert Gray and Riverside Drive neighborhoods of Tiverton.

The District expects to advertise the bid for the project by the end of September or early October. Once the contract is awarded, construction is tentatively scheduled to begin no later than April 1, 2020.

For those living there who have a cesspool or failed septic system, tying in to the sewer will become mandatory once the new line is complete.

Approved by voters in 2015, the project is being funded by a $7.1 million USDA grant.

Also in recent months, the district hired new leadership and has completed work on several policy updates.

Superintendent Engineer Tom Nicholson came to the district at the beginning of the year and has been leading the USDA Phase 1 Sewer Expansion project in the Robert Gray and Riverside Drive neighborhoods of Tiverton. Additionally, Executive Director Carrie San Angelo started with the district this summer and has been focused on the USDA project as well as updating district policies to drive financial growth.

According to the website, the total estimated assessment and usage cost would be $137.50 per month (billed quarterly) for those living there.

Mandatory connection

Regarding policy updates, the first update is to begin enforcing a policy for mandatory connection to the sewer as it becomes available. This policy, the district says, has been in the rules and regulations of the district since its inception, “but given the movement with the USDA funded sewer expansion project, now is the time that the district needs to focus on enforcing this policy.”

The policy states that if a property is located in a sewer serviceable area, and it has either a cesspool or a failed septic system, the property owner has one year to connect to the sewer. Last year the district updated this policy to make exception allowing three 3-year extensions to property owners with septic systems up to 25 years old only if they are in good working condition.

“This is a compromise offered to property owners to protect the investment they have made into their septic systems,” the district said.

But, upon transfer of the property, new homeowners with septic systems over 25 years old will be required to connect to the sewer within one year. “Enforcement of this policy ensures that the district is financially capable of meeting USDA loan repayment requirements for the sewer expansion projects that are forthcoming.”

Meetings scheduled

The next policy update is to address property owners who have been abutting sewer serviceable areas for several years without connecting. Upon the inception of the district, Tiverton transferred most of the sewer to the district.

“As a result of inconsistent records prior to that transfer, the district has since discovered both connections that were not documented as well as properties that should have been connected for years.”

Most of these properties are identified and resolved because of a property transfer, but the district has scheduled a meeting targeted specifically to these property owners for Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 pm at the Tiverton Senior Center to discuss in detail how these long-existing sewer abutters will be handled moving forward. The policy has recently been updated with more severe, more expensive penalties, but the district is willing to honor the older policy for the next six months to encourage the property owners to take advantage of the fees that they have been advised of for the last several years.

There are additional policy updates regarding public communications from the district and assessments for future sewer projects, and these along with those mentioned above will be discussed in detail at a general public meeting on Thursday, October 17, at 6:30 pm at the Tiverton Library Community Room.

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