Saturday, December 27, 2014

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Charles River Pollution Control District

While the Pond St property has been in the news recently with the RFP and intention to sell it, its original use was as the sewer treatment plant for Franklin. Franklin is part of the Charles River Pollution Control District which handles our wastewater treatment.

During Fiscal Year 2014, the Charles River Pollution Control District’s (District) regional advanced wastewater treatment facility received and treated approximately 1,370 million gallons (3.75 million gallons per day) of raw wastewater, including 7.0 million gallons of septage from the District’s member and customer towns before discharge to the Charles River. The volume of waste treated was lower than the previous year due to a decrease in precipitation.

The District is anticipating the renewal process to begin for its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharge of its treated wastewater to the Charles River. Under the preliminary draft NPDES permit, the District and the Towns of Franklin, Medway, Millis, and Bellingham will have to maintain an ongoing preventive maintenance program to prevent overflows and bypasses caused by malfunctions or failures of the sewer system and an infiltration and inflow reduction program. In addition, the new limit for phosphorus is being reduced from 0.2 mg/L to 0.1 mg/L in the summer months and a winter limit of 0.3 mg/L is being added.

The District conducted an Infiltration and Inflow Study in 2013, with CDM Smith, to identify areas of the District’s interceptors that will need further investigation and repair. The study modeled flow through the interceptors, groundwater elevations and rainfall data during the spring and summer months (wet and dry periods).

This summer, the District will be investigating the manholes in a portion of its interceptors to determine each manhole’s condition. CDM Smith and staff from the District prepared a 20-year capital improvement plan (CIP) to improve the wastewater treatment facility to meet more stringent NPDES permitting requirements and provide a more reliable wastewater treatment facility at its current capacity.

In July 2010, the District was informed of its acceptance on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) Bureau of Resource Protection Calendar Year 2010 Intended Use List for State Revolving Funding (SRF). In order to expedite the designs and proceed with the project in a timely manner, the CIP was divided into three phases (A, B and C).

  • Phase A, which was completed in December 2013, included the replacement of both primary clarifier mechanisms, addition of two screenings washer/compactors in the wet well, primary scum handling improvements, and plant lighting and security improvements.
  • Phase B, the capping of the on-site residuals landfill, was completed in August 2013.
  • Phase C, focuses on improving phosphorus removal, replacing the disinfection system, and extending the life of the facility for an additional 20 years. This phase is currently under construction. It is expected that construction will last about 2.5 years. A District-wide Global Information System was developed as part of this phase to assist with infiltration and inflow reduction requirements.
The District funded Phases A and B with a 20- year State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan of approximately $3.5M for costs associated with bidding, construction, and resident engineering. Phase C costs will be funded through separate SRF loans of approximately $24.5M, which includes bidding, construction, and resident engineering. Ineligible costs (i.e. design of Phase C) for SRF loans will be funded by a General Obligation Bond of approximately $1.95M.

The District is one of seven municipal wastewater treatment plants selected by the Mass DEP to participate in a pilot program that involves energy auditing, assessments for renewable and clean energy possibilities, and support of implementation for energy related projects. The purpose of this pilot program is to reduce the amount of energy used at municipal wastewater treatment plants by 20%, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving municipalities money.

The District was granted $847,583 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to install a 20 kW solar voltaic array and two turbo style blowers. The solar panels will produce energy onsite whereas the turbo blowers will provide oxygen to the secondary treatment system using approximately 30% less power than the existing blowers. The District is anticipating a 20% reduction in energy costs from these energy improvements. At this time, the solar voltaic array has produced over 70,000 kw over the last 3.5 years and the turbo blowers are the main source of air to the activated sludge process.

The District’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget is 13.4% higher than the previous years’ budget. The District’s FY 2015 budget for operations and maintenance is $3,151,720, while the capital projects budget is $1,018,300. Franklin’s share of the operation and maintenance and capital projects budgets are estimated to be $1,652,000 and $620,730, respectively.

Respectively submitted
Douglas M. Downing, Chairman (Medway)
William J. Goode, Jr., Vice-Chairman (Franklin)
Alfred H. Wahlers, Clerk, (Franklin)
Paul J. DeSimone (Medway)
Gene Guidi, (Franklin)

CRPCD Officers:
Elizabeth Schreiber, P.E., Executive Director
Emma J. Catalano, Treasurer
Barbara Maffeo, Executive Secretary
Cornetta, Ficco & Simmler, Legal Counsel

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

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