In order to protect public health and our environment, Fairhaven has invested in sewers and the treatment of wastewater from residents, businesses and other users. Three major components are the Water Pollution Control Facility, the Wastewater Collection System and the West Island Treatment Plant.
Fairhaven Water Pollution Control Facility
The Fairhaven Water Pollution Control Facility is located on Arsene Street. It is a conventional activated sludge plant that is designed for 5 million gallons a day (MGD) of wastewater flow. On an average day, the facility accepts approximately 2.7 MGD with 10% of that flow coming from the neighboring town of Mattapoisett. During a heavy rain event, our flows can peak at 16 MGD. The original facility was completed in 1969 and some of the original structures still exist. It was last upgraded in 1989 and we are just beginning the process of rehabilitating the plant again. We received funding at the May 2007 Town meeting to begin a $600,000 Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWWMP), which will map out the future needs of the Town, and our plan of action
for assuring the same superior level of wastewater treatment that is now provided to the residents of the Town.
The plant discharges to the inner harbor thru an outfall located just west of the intersection of Church and Main Streets. Prior to discharge the flow is treated to levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) below those dictated to us thru our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which is issued jointly by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We are currently awaiting new a new permit from these agencies that will also aid in the planning process for the future rehab project.
Fairhaven Wastewater Collection System
The collection system that conveys wastewater to the Arsene Street facility is composed of 15 pump stations located throughout town. There are approximately 75 miles of gravity and pressure sewer lines flowing to the main plant thru the two major pump stations, South Street, which handles approximately 65% of our flow, and Railroad Avenue, which handles everything east of the treatment plant, including Mattapoisett.
The town is responsible for maintaining all of the pump stations, as well as the main sewer lines in the publicly owned roadways of Fairhaven. We respond to all sewer emergencies that originate from the sidewalk area to the street and are challenged daily by the age of some of our lines, as well as by the root systems of the many trees that beautify our area, and love to infiltrate sewer lines. During a rain event, our flows to the treatment plant can rise from an average of 2.7 MGD to a high of 16 MGD. This is caused by infiltration and inflow (I/I) into the sewer system. Sources of I/I include sump pump discharge into individual sewer lines and leakage thru older manholes and pipelines.
West Island Treatment Plant
The West Island Plant was built in 1998 and services the 366 homes on the Island. It is an advanced treatment plant with a design flow of 100,000 gallons per day. The average flow on the island is only 18,000 gallons, but varies widely with the influx of summer residents. The discharge from this plant is to a well field in the conservation area of West Island, which is deeded to the Town. We have had challenges with this innovative system and installed two new wells in September 2006 which have been operating properly since their installation.
Major Projects and Upgrades
Free Disposal for Fairhaven RV’s