To meet the needs of Concord residents, business and institutions, the Town is developing a 20-year plan for a financially sound, town-wide, wastewater management plan that will protect public health and the environment.
Current Wastewater Management
Concord uses both decentralized and centralized systems to treat and dispose of wastewater into the environment.
* The Town’s centralized system serves approximately thirty percent of Concord’s residential and non-residential wastewater needs in and around the centers of Concord and West Concord. This wastewater is collected by the sewer system and then processed at Concord’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Some wastewater pumped from decentralized systems in Concord is also processed at the treatment plant. The treated effluent is discharged to the Concord River.
* Approximately seventy percent of the town uses decentralized systems for wastewater treatment and disposal. These are on-site systems, either individual or shared, commonly called Title 5 septic systems, as well as some larger septic systems, all of which discharge the treated effluent to the ground. On-site systems typically use septic tanks and leach fields to treat and disperse the wastewater.
Both centralized and decentralized systems can be long-term, environmentally sound, safe and cost effective wastewater management solutions.
Planning for the Future
In 1999, the Town of Concord began a re-evaluation process to develop a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, or CWMP, as a guide for town-wide wastewater management for the next 20-years. Components of this plan include:
* Needs Assessment
* Preliminary Alternatives Analysis
* Final Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Impact Assessment
* Recommended Plan Development
* On-Site Wastewater Management
* Growth Management
* Costs, Cost Allocation and Project Financing
* Public Participation
Each of these components adds to the completeness of the planning effort and addresses issues necessary for a true comprehensive, town-wide plan that will guide Concord in wastewater management over the next 20-years.
To find the most appropriate solutions to Concord’s wastewater management concerns, the following principles were emphasized throughout the planning process:
* Detailed, scientific-based wastewater needs information as a solid base for planning.
* Thorough and thoughtful review of appropriate alternatives.
* Recognition of the importance of maintaining or enhancing local water balance.
* Proactive management of growth impacts.
* Selection of a recommended plan that benefits the entire Town.
* Providing benefits to all properties through enhanced on-site wastewater management.
* Broad-based public participation and stakeholder involvement.
Development of the CWMP has taken place in two phases. The first, Phase I, took place between November 1999 and November 2001 and the second, Phase II, began in November 2001 and continues until the final CWMP is approved by the State. Community approval for the conceptual plan was voted favorably by the majority of Concord Residents at the 2003 Annual Town Meeting.