Council approves contractor for sewer project

Former water Pollution Control facility superintendent Mike Finoia gestures toward some older pipes that need to be upgraded leading up to the 2016 referendum.

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

The Town Council accepted the low bid made by a company out of Waterford, Carlin Contracting, for upcoming renovations to the water pollution control facility. The unanimous vote came at the Nov. 26 meeting.

The recommendation  originally came before the council at the Nov. 13 meeting, following a sewer committee report, but the vote was tabled when councilors and staff realized there was a pending lawsuit that the company was facing. At that time, the council asked Town Attorney Carolyn Futtner, along with Town Manager Mark Sciota, the public works director, and the assistant town engineer to look into the matter first.

“The president of Carlin Company, Brian Carlin, was very forthcoming with the lawsuit,” Futtner said. “I think it’s very important to point out, the only reason they are a part of the defense is because they filed the lawsuit and were counter-claimed against, which is a typical move that defendants will use in these types of cases.”

Futtner pointed out the company has been in existence since 1975, and she said they’ve had no problems with getting performance bonds. Carlin Contracting first came recommended by the hired engineering and environmental consulting service Tighe & Bond, then by the sewer committee, who recommended the company to the council.

“Thank you to the town staff for following up on this,” said councilor Tom Lombardi, who first brought up the concern of the lawsuit at the Nov. 13 meeting. “We just want to make sure we do our research, so that was a good effort on the town staff.”

The contractor will head up a $57 million project to upgrade Southington’s Water Pollution Control Facility that was overwhelmingly approved by voters during the 2016 election. The last major renovation, according to Tighe & Bond, was in the early 1980s.

The town needed to identify areas of sewer expansion, quantify future flows, and define a future sewer service area consistent with the requirements of the state’s plan of conservation and development.

Southington also needed to comply with the state’s new stringent phosphorous limits, which takes effect in 2022, of how much phosphorus can be discharged into the Quinnipiac River, according to Tighe & Bond. Without this, the town would lose significant clean water grant funding and a two-percent interest loan, as well as be subject to fines.

Tighe & Bond completed a facilities planning study to evaluate the condition and capacity of the WPCF and collection system with a goal of developing a phased plan for addressing the town’s waste water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. The task resulted in recommendations to upgrade the WPCF, as well as the development of a water pollution control plan and a sewer service area map for the town.

Upgrades include a new ballasted flocculation phosphorus removal system and ultraviolet light disinfection system, as well as energy efficiency improvements to equipment and processes. Raw sewage tanks will be covered, and odor control units added to control odors for nearby residents, according to Tighe & Bond.

Additional upgrades include replacing electric motors with more efficient units to reduce electricity costs, and repairing deteriorated and cracked concrete tanks. Tighe & Bond also included a computer control and alarm system to monitor equipment and flows, detect issues and notify plant operators of problems.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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