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CHAPTER 8- WATER SUPPLY AND SANITARY SEWERAGE

There is a close relation between the proposed development of land under the Plan and the need for city water supply and sanitary sewers. Rural areas which lie beyond the limits of efficient and economical extension of these services should be developed at a low density so as to permit the use of private wells and septic tanks. Extension of the sewer system to serve the northern part of the City requires a trunk sewer in the Mattabesset Valley, presumably under regional auspices. Sewer and water services are needed to permit development of industrial areas, especially the area near Interstate Route I-91. See the Water Supply Maps- West Map - East Map and the Sanitary Sewerage Maps- West Map - East Map.

The Water Supply Maps show the present extent of the public water supply system operated by the City of Middletown. The two chief sources of water at present are the Mount Higby Reservoir in the western part of the City and extending into the Town of Middlefield and the Laurel Brook Reservoir in the southwestern corner, also partly located in Middlefield. In dry seasons the City at times has been forced to secure water from the state hospital supply.

From the planning point of view, Middletown's problem is basically one of total supply. Its distribution system extends to most of the area presently occupied by intensive development. The Water Supply Maps shows the present topographic limits of the supply by gravity from Mount Highby Reservoir. Above these elevations it will be necessary to increase pressure supply. Several areas are being surveyed for underground sources by test drilling. The City has also acquired land for additional reservoir in the valley of Sawmill or Fall Brook in the northwest section. This reservoir will be at a low elevation and presumably would be used principally for storage, water being pumped to the Mount Higby Reservoir for adequate pressure. It may also be possible to use this reservoir to serve areas at lower elevations. In any case, it appears likely that reliance must also be placed on underground sources.

We recommend that the City continue its studies of water supply on a long-range basis, first to secure an adequate supply for the City's ultimate development, both domestic and industrial, and second, to plan for the gradual improvement of the distribution system, including new principal mains where needed, extensions to new areas and service to higher elevations where development is likely to take place. Where it is impractical and uneconomic to extend service to some of the higher and more rugged areas where there is to be only a sparse development, the land should be zoned for large enough lots to permit private well systems.

The anticipated population of 65,000 will normally require a daily supply of about 7 million gallons for domestic and general use. In addition, the City should be prepared to furnish a considerable amount of water for industrial use. Therefore, sources of supply should be sought and acquired to assure a daily yield of 10 to 12 million gallons or more.

Sanitary Sewerage
The Sewer Maps show the areas now served by the City's public sanitary sewerage system. There are two treatment plants, one near the Connecticut River at the south end of the central area, and the other at the west side of the central area on the Coginchaug River. This map also shows the topographic limits of extensions of the present system to preserve gravity flow. We see that the northern and western part of the City's area drains northward into the valley of the Mattabesset River.

In order to provide for sewerage of this area, it will be necessary to install a trunk sewer near that river and either to construct an additional treatment plant near the mouth or to pump the sewage to the existing treatment plant and to enlarge the latter as necessary.

However, we understand that a regional Mattabesset Sewer Authority will serve New Britain and other towns of this valley. it will probably be much more efficient and economical for Middletown to apply for service from this regional authority than to operate its own separate system. The Mattabesset regional sewer system will presumably include a treatment plant near the river's confluence with the Connecticut River.

The Land Use Plan designates large areas in this drainage basin for industrial development. The portion along the outer part of Newfield Street is presently the most accessible. It is needed at once as a location for the community's promotional efforts in securing new or relocated industries. Sewer services for this area must therefore have a high priority.

We. therefore, recommend that the City officials take immediate steps to investigate the feasibility of joining the regional sewer authority and the terms under which its service can be obtained.

Relation of Sewer and Water Services to Development
The Land Use Plan for residential land, shown on Map 8, indicates the proposed types of development and consequently the density which may be expected. Areas which are designated as "suburban residence" will require public water supply and public sanitary sewerage services. Although these areas may not be entirely developed immediately, the Plan gives a good picture of the extensions of these services which will eventually be needed to serve residential neighborhoods.

The Plan designates other areas for rural residential use, where development should be at a density which will not require a public sewerage system. These areas are farther from trunk lines and would be less economical to service. Therefore, the minimum lot area required should be adequate to insure the feasibility of private disposal systems. In general, this means that lots should be not less than one acre in area.

The Plan also shows the proposed areas for business and industrial development. In the southeastern part of the City, the area designated for special types of industry, like the existing Canel plant and large scale utility installations, is to be developed in large tracts so that each can have its own sewerage disposal system. Elsewhere the areas designated for commercial and industrial development will require sanitary sewer service. Those which are located in the northern part of the City can be served by the Mattabesset Valley system described above.

Most of the areas designated for rural residential use lie at an elevation which is too high to be reached by the present city water supply system. It will require the installation of equipment needed to provide the requisite pressure, as soon as the area becomes more compactly developed.

The large-scale industrial sites in the southeastern corner may be expected to have their own water supply systems, as is the case of the Connecticut Valley State Hospital. The other areas which are planned for commercial or industrial uses are all located where they can be served by extensions of the present water system without exceeding the present topographic limits.

 

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