FROM OF BETHEL, CT 2007
PLAN OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
TEXT CONCERNING SEWERS
Adequate Sanitary Sewer Service
Public sewers can provide safe and efficient
sewage disposal for residential and business needs, protect
public health, and support desired development patterns.
Public Works Department, primarily through the Town Engineer
and the Utility Supervisor, maintain the municipal sewer mains
located within the Town. The Town has an inter-local Agreement
with the City of Danbury to send its municipal sewage to their
treatment facility. There are three different sewer service
areas served by three sewer pump stations.
identified on the Sewer Service Areas Plan, sewer lines currently
serve the entire downtown Bethel area, the Francis J. Clarke
Industrial Park, the Berkshire Industrial Park, Hoyt’s
Hill, and the Stony Hill/Route 6 Corridor. Sewer service has
been approved for Chimney Heights and Phase 1 work on installation
of sewer service to this neighborhood has begun. The Sewer
Service Areas Plan identifies existing, proposed and potential
sewer service areas. Areas not identified on the Sewer Service
Areas Plan use private septic systems.
of October 2006, there were 3,476 customers of the Bethel
Sewer System. An agreement with the Danbury Sewage Treatment
Plant (DSTP) allows for up to two million gallons of sewage
a day. Current usage is approximately 1.2 million gallons
a day indicating that there may be some excess capacity in
However, according to a recent study conducted by Tighe and
Bond, both the Paul Street Pump Station and the Downtown sewer
service areas are near capacity. There are concerns that new
development in these areas may jeopardize the current agreement
Commission recommends that the Board of Selectmen and the
Public Utility Commission consider revising the agreement
with the DSTP to reallocate some sewage capacity from the
northern area, where there is a surplus, to the Village Center,
in order to support some limited additional development in
the Village Center.
the Commission revises the Zoning Regulations and considers
allowing for some increases in density both in the Village
Center and within the proposed Transit-Oriented Development
District, both the Zoning Map and the Sewer Service Plan may
need to be reviewed and amended for compatibility.
Public Utility Commission and the Board of Selectmen are considering
extending sewer service throughout the southwestern part of
Town. This is in conflict with the State Plan of Conservation
and Development, which has identified this area as rural land
and a conservation area.
Therefore, the Commission recommends that the Town work to
resolve this discrepancy and clarify the State Plan of Conservation’s
designation of this area of Town before moving forward with
the proposal to sewer the southwestern part of Town and/or
to propose or allow any additional development in this area.
2006, the Public Utilities Commission conducted a sanitary
sewer system capacity evaluation, with the assistance of the
engineering firm of Tighe and Bond. That report identified
a number of recommendations, many of which the Commission
number of recommendations address concerns about the potential
for exceeding the flow limits agreement. The Commission recommends
that the Board of Selectmen and the Pubic Utility Commission
pursue those recommendations.
important recommendation is to develop a system to monitor
redevelopment and build-out within the sewer service areas
in order to evaluate the impact on wastewater flows and available
capacity as development in the Town proceeds. The Commission
supports these recommendations.
report also recommended that the PUC evaluate and potentially
upgrade the flow meters at the Payne Road Meter Chamber, the
Berkshire Pump Station and the Plumtrees Road Pump Station.
The Commission supports these recommendations.
for Ensuring Adequate Sanitary Sewer Services
1. Update the sewer service area limits to ensure that areas
of Town where new sewers are planned are within the sewer
service area and are consistent with the State Plan of Conservation
Consider requesting an adjustment to the inter-municipal agreement
with Danbury to shift capacity from the northern area to the
Develop a system to monitor redevelopment and build-out within
the sewer service area in order to evaluate the impact on
wastewater flows and available capacity as development in
the Town proceeds.
Evaluate and upgrade, if necessary, the flow meters at the
Payne Road Meter Chamber and the Berkshire Pump Station.
Evaluate options for upgrading or replacing the Plumtrees
Road Pump Station.
OF BETHEL, CT 1997
PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT
TEXT CONCERNING SEWERS
The following text is reproduced from the 1997 Bethel Plan
of Conservation and Development, Section 6.0 entitled "Water
and Sewer Utilities", on July 8, 1997:
Existing Conditions, Sewers: Sewer lines serve the entire
downtown Bethel area, Francis Clarke and Berkshire Industrial
Parks, Hoyts Hill and the Route 6 corridor (completed 1991-92).
In the downtown area, the sewer service area is virtually
coterminous with the water service area. Currently these areas
and all other non-sewered areas are serviced by on-site septic
Pursuant to a 1993 court order, the Danbury Sewage Treatment
Plant processes the sewage generated in Bethel’s serviced
areas. The Bethel Waste Water Treatment Plant was converted
into a large pumping station. This eliminated the contamination,
and improved quality of the Still River, as well as rectified
the overcapacity problems during rainstorms.
Danbury plant was enlarged in order to accommodate Bethel’s
needs. As it stands, maximum capacity of the Danbury plant
is 1.8 million gallons a day. Bethel contributes 1.1 million
gallons a day.
6.1 Future Needs, Sewers:
In February 1995, Greiner Engineers produced a study on the
feasibility of extending sanitary sewer service from the Route
6 trunk sewer to R-20 and R-30 residential areas north and
south of Route 6. Six potential service areas were investigated:
Vail Road, Old Hawleyville Road north of Route 6, Benedict
Road, Payne Road, Oak Ridge Road, and Colonial Drive.
total, about 1,250 lots would receive sewer service at an
estimated cost of $12,500,000 or about $10,400 per lot. The
study found that about 80% of the study areas has soils that
are severely limited for septic field utilization and septic
tank absorption fields, and another 10% is moderately limited.
Indeed, the area reported 152 septic failures between 1975-1995,
or nearly 13% of the area’s lots reporting failures.
The failures are largely due to the local clay soils and the
one-half acre lot sizes. Thus, the report concluded that the
Stony Hill area could be sewered and probably should be. However,
at present, there are no active municipal plans to undertake
In addition to planning new sanitary sewer systems, the town
can designate areas outside the service areas for sewer avoidance.
Development here would be subject to on-site solutions and
stringent oversight by the town.
CT SEWER SERVICE
HISTORY (UPDATED ONLY TO 1992)
Both Bethel’s 1979 and 1984 updated Plans of Development
recommended consideration of the extension of municipal sewer
service into the Stony Hill and Plumtrees neighborhoods. In
1989 the City of Danbury agreed to the construction of the
Stony Hill sewer extension along Route 6, to flow to the Danbury
treatment facility. The project has a construction cost of
approximately $2.0 million and was approved by Bethel voters
The Stony Hill sewer line is designed to carry 0.6 MGD from
the Stony Hill area of Bethel and 0.4 MGD from the Hawleyville
Section of Newtown to the Danbury sewage treatment plant.
This sewer service expansion project was not mandated by CT
DEP to abate sewage pollution problems but rather to serve
as an stimulus to planned economic growth. Future sewer service
areas in Bethel are identified by the figure entitled, Town
of Bethel Sewer Service Areas.
CT TREATMENT PLANT
CAPACITY (UPDATED ONLY TO 1992)
The Bethel sewage treatment plant (2003 Note: since redesigned
to be a pump station to the Danbury Sewer Plant) located on
Paul Street was constructed in 1965. This plant provides a secondary
level of treatment which discharges chlorinated effluent into
the Sympaug Brook. The Sympaug flows northward into the Still
River in Danbury and from there northward through Brookfield
into the Housatonic River in New Milford. The plant was designed
to process1.0 MGD and the present flow is approximately 1.0
CT DEP mandate to Bethel has been to bring Sympaug Brook up
to a B water quality classification, either by upgrading the
present Bethel plant to advanced secondary treatment levels
or to abandon the plant and pump collected sewage to the Danbury
sewage treatment plant.
Bethel concluded that the best long range solution for treatment
of municipally collected sewage was to purchase a share of
the expanded capacity of Danbury’s sewage treatment
plant. In 1989 Bethel agreed to spend $12.1 million to purchase
2.0 MGD of capacity in the expanded Danbury plant. The existing
Bethel plant will be disassembled and redesigned as a sewage
pump station connecting to the Danbury plant (since completed).
cooperation for sewage treatment predates the current treatment
plant merger. In 1979, an intermunicipal agreement allowed
the Bethel treatment plant to accept 0.075 MGD from the Coalpit
Hill area of Danbury. Danbury in return agreed to accept the
sewage from the Berkshire Industrial Park located in northern
Bethel. This successful arrangement was geographically convenient
and has proved to be mutually satisfactory for both communities.