WINDHAM TOWN MANAGER
Telephone: (207) 892-1907
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
NORTH WINDHAM SEWER PROJECT
Why Sewer? Why Now?
For 15 years Windham has been studying the quality of groundwater in North Windham and the effects of residential and commercial development. We've monitored the groundwater, analyzed the data, and have now reached a point where it is important to have a public conversation with Windham residents and business owners in order to prepare for the future.
Now is a good time to start this conversation.
What is the Project?
The Town of Windham is working with the engineering firm of Woodard & Curran to investigate the possibility of public sewer - a system for wastewater collection and treatment - in certain areas of our community. The system, as detailed in the town's wastewater facilities plan, and further refined through schematic design, would transport wastewater from portions of North Windham and Windham Center to the Portland Water District's regional treatment plant in Westbrook.
History of the Project
Windham has been investigating the possibility of developing a public sewer for more than a decade, as contamination in the groundwater has risen in recent years and has become a concern. While contaminants can always be found in groundwater, most recently contaminant levels have been rising so we must address this issue now, or in the near future.
Click here for a copy of the 2009 presentation "North Windham Groundwater Quality 1995-2007"
Click here for a copy of the 2010 presentation "North Windham Groundwater Quality - An Update"
Click here for a copy of the 2011 Schematic Design and Cost Estimate Report
Click here for a copy of the 1996 "Windham Ground Water Resource Evaluation, Phase I" (32MB)
Click here for a copy of the 1997 "Windham Ground Water Resource Evaluation, Phase II"(36MB)
Click here for a map detailing the Collection System Schematic Design for Windham
Click here for a complete copy of the Wastewater Facilities Plan (14 MB)
Why Are We Considering It?
Throughout the planning area about 700,000 gallons of wastewater are being discharged into our groundwater resource every day. The "core facilities" plan includes portions of the Route 302, Route 115, and Route 35 corridors in North Windham, and a section to serve the RSU 14 main campus in Windham Center, and captures about 140,000 gallons per day. About 100,000 gallons is in those areas most affected by wastewater discharges to the ground.
Over time, this continued discharge has an impact. It is important to study the impact and manage it in order to protect public health, protect the region's natural resources, and help provide for Windham's future growth and development.
There are currently three very important issues that must be considered as they relate to the development of a sewer system in Windham. They are:
- Public Health -We must ensure that the level of groundwater contaminants does not pose a health threat to Windham residents. Our Town currently relies on septic systems, which by nature do not remove all contaminants from wastewater.
- Resource Protection - We must protect our region's lakes, rivers and streams. Even with septic systems, untreated wastewater directly enters our soil and according to groundwater evaluations, contaminants are present and affect regional water bodies and drinking water.
- Community & Economic Development - The absence of a public sewer system hampers business growth and new economic opportunity. A public sewer system would support the community's goals for development and environmental responsibility, providing sufficient capacity for growth, at the same time that it helps protect public health.
Who Will Benefit?
A public sewer system would benefit the entire town by removing contaminants from the groundwater resource, providing protection to our region's lakes, rivers and streams, and offering community and economic development benefits to Windham. Clean water and good jobs are both very important aspects to the overall quality of life.
Similar sewer systems are found in many towns the size of Windham which have experienced tremendous commercial and residential growth. Further growth will be limited if the Town of Windham does not take necessary steps to collect and treat its wastewater.
Because a system would be designed to provide a long-lasting, sustainable solution in order to provide benefits to this region of the state, Windham would be more able to achieve its community environmental and development goals, and set an example for others to follow.
We know the public will have a lot of questions about a public sewer system and, currently, we do not have all of the answers. This outreach is truly the beginning of an important community discussion.
[ Collection_System_Schematic_Design2.pdf ]