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In April 1998, the Town of Holliston submitted an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) for the construction of a wastewater collection and transmission system with regional treatment and surface water discharge for those areas of Town that cannot effectively sustain conventional Title 5 septic systems for wastewater disposal. In May 1998, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) issued a Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Certificate to the Town of Holliston which required the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this project. The EIR process consists of filing three documents: (1) Phase I, Needs Analysis and Screening of Alternatives; (2) Phase II, Draft Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP) and EIR; and (3) Phase III, Final CWMP/EIR. Between January 1999 and January 2000 three documents were submitted to MEPA for review and comment. The Secretary of the EOEA issued MEPA Certificates to the Town of Holliston that stated that the documents adequately and properly complied with the MEPA and with its implementing regulations.

The documents consist of (1) a Town-wide needs analysis to determine whether or not conventional Title 5 septic systems will be effective in disposing of wastewater within a given study area throughout and beyond the 20 year planning period and (2) draft/final EIRs which presented recommendations for wastewater management in the identified areas of the Town where existing on-site septic systems have been shown to be inadequate for wastewater disposal. Specific recommendations by Study Area take into account the feasibility of utilizing (1) innovative alternative systems; (2) communal systems; (3) local wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal facilities; and (4) regional wastewater collection treatment and disposal facilities. Evaluation of the alternatives consists of environmental, technical, institutional and economic factors associated with each alternative and recommends the appropriate solution to the wastewater disposal problems. The 63.6 million recommended plan includes 2 wastewater treatment facilities with an estimated wastewater flow of approximately 1.1 MGD, 4 groundwater disposal sites, 52 miles of collection system and 13 pumping stations.

The treatment and in-Town groundwater disposal of highly treated wastewater effluent will result in achieving the goals of many regulatory and non-regulatory agencies as well as a major benefit to the environment by maintaining stream flows, recharging the aquifer, and maintaining water within its basin. A secondary benefit to this approach is that Holliston will control its own destiny due to the elimination of such external controls as intermunicipal agreements, regional facility expansion, regional permitting, and additional reports/studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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