Over 200 miles of sewer pipe link 85% of residences and 100% of commercial properties to Fairfield’s Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF), operating under the authority of the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA). The facility is valued at more than $100 million, and is operated by 18 certified town employees.
Each day the WPCF returns about 8.5 million gallons of water, cleaned in accordance with state and federal standards (>95% of pollutants removed), to the Long Island Sound.
Fifteen percent of residences are on septic systems (see link below for tips on maintenance).
Achievements to date
- The WPCF operates with 100% renewable energy coming from a solar array installed over old landfill in 2017 and a fuel cell, online since late 2019
- Wastewater sewer pipes are separate from stormwater pipes
- In a process unique in the state, the 500 tons of biosolids generated annually at WPCF is combined on site with local wood debris to make valuable compost
- Optimizing the effective and efficient operation of WPCF
- Protecting the WPCF from storm damage and flooding
- Maintaining separation of wastewater and stormwater systems
Benefits of Modern Wastewater Management
- Lower sewage fees because facility runs on renewable energy
- Town receives rebates from the state for producing outflow that exceeds state nitrogen standards – which also protects the health of Long Island Sound.
- Town gets revenue from the sale of compost and keeps 500 tons of biosolids out of landfill yearly
2030 Plan Goals*
- Approval and implementation of WPCA long-term Facilities Plan
- Completion of berm to “harden” the WPCF against 100-year flood conditions
- 20% reduction in WPCF/sewer pipe emergency calls to relieve “fatberg” obstruction (a fatberg is a large mass of fat and waste material that forms in sewers
*Some goals are ambitious, and may need more time to achieve target participation rates; others can be achieved sooner, but work on all goals should begin as soon as possible
How Do We Reach Our Goals?
- A detailed, 25-year Facilities Plan awaits approval by the state. The plan will bring about important upgrades to aging equipment and further enhance operating efficiency
- Ongoing program to detect and repair pipe disruptions to reduce stormwater I&I (inflow and infiltration) into wastewater collection system
- Ensuring that stormwater management is an integral part of infrastructure and construction planning
- Promote commercial and residential water conservation measures: reducing wastewater reduces unnecessary throughput at WPCF, lowering operating costs.
- Protection of WPCF and private sewer connections through education of consumers to refrain from putting any form of grease into the drain, and not flushing so-called “flushable” wipes
- Consider regulations for “graywater” management as feasible; reusing graywater will reduce throughput at WPCF and conserve drinking water