Entrance to Old Colony Beach (Credit: Google Map Data 2019)

Inland Wetlands Approves Plan For Sewers at Old Colony Beach in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Inland Wetlands Commission approved the Old Colony Beach Association’s permit application for installation of sewers and associated improvements, on a Webex call Tuesday night.

James Otis, an engineer with Fuss & O’Neill, presented the application, which was submitted in January, for the installation of about 7,500 feet of sanitary sewer gravity mains, sanitary laterals, storm drain improvements and a proposed Bioxide facility for odor control at the north end of Gorton Avenue. 

Otis said there were no direct impacts to wetlands or watercourses as a result of the proposed work. 

Two segments of the project are located within 100 feet of an inland wetland or watercourse, said Otis. About 340 feet of the eight-inch gravity sewer is located within a 100-foot setback area of the inland wetlands of Sheffield Brook, east of Gorton Avenue between Maple Avenue and Broughel Avenue. An additional 220-foot segment of pipe and 70 feet of electrical conduit are proposed to travel under Route 156 within 100 feet of wetlands. Otis said the plans depict mitigation measures including the use of hay bales, silt fencing, dewatering bags, a frac tank if necessary for dewatering wastewater, grass seed and mulch. 

Tom Metcalf, town engineer, said that erosion controls had to be implemented and followed and that any dewatering be prevented from entering storm drains or wetlands. 

“There are notations on the plans but it’s just a matter of making sure the contractor follows those procedures,” Metcalf said.

In a 3-0 vote, the commission approved the application on the condition that Wetland Enforcement Officer Dan Bourret is included in preconstruction meetings and performs periodic checks to make sure that erosion controls regarding dewatering are in place. 

Chair Rachael Gaudio recused herself from the application process to avoid any conflict of interest.

Otis said the construction schedule will be determined in part by the conditions stipulated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which is reviewing the Flood Management Certification application and the Coastal Resources General Permit for Discharge of Stormwater and Dewatering Wastewaters. The Army Corps is also reviewing submissions, he said. 

Otis presented a similar application for Old Lyme Shores Beach Association at the commission’s January 28 meeting, according to meeting minutes. The commission voted unanimously to approve the application with conditions including a pre-construction meeting and ongoing site meetings with the Wetlands Enforcement Officer. Conditions also included that the applicant submit a construction cost/bond estimate and a dewatering plan for review by Metcalf.

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