Glen Drive sewer closer to reality

HUDSON – Residents in the Glen Drive area can learn more tonight about the town’s plans to start a sewer district in their neighborhood.

About 128 homes could become connected to sewer under the proposal. A public hearing is being held tonight about the sewer betterment district. The hearing is the next-to-last step in the process of forming the district.

Once the sewer betterment district is formed, homeowners will have to pay fees that would total several thousand dollars. Residents must also pay to have a pipe installed from the service pipe at their property line to their home.

There was interest in having access to sewer in the area for several years. In 1989, about 90 residents submitted a petition asking the town to look into the cost of installing sewer, Town Engineer Tom Sommers said.

At the time, the costs, which included roadwork after the pipes had been installed, was too expensive, Sommers said.

A few years later, the town put in dry sewer lines during a road reconstruction project. Most of the work was done using town labor, Sommers said. If the lines had not been installed during the roadwork, residents would have had to pay road reconstruction costs to have the sewer lines installed.

A number of characteristics in the area, including small lot sizes, make sewer more practical than private septic systems, according to Sommers.

“It was only done in this area because of the concerns,” he said.

Several of the lots are smaller than the Several of the lots are smaller than the lots required under current town zoning, Sommers said. There is also an accelerated septic failure rate because of ledge and slope in the area, Sommers said.

Connection to the system is mandatory under the Town Code. However, homeowners whose houses are more than 100 feet from the property line or whose septic systems were installed later than 1985 and are in good working order can apply to have that requirement waived.

Residents who fall under the second category have to connect if their septic system fails.

Adding the homes to the town’s sewer system has health and environmental benefits for the homeowners, Sommers said.

If a septic system fails, it means sewage is flowing on the ground surface. “That’s not a good thing,” he noted.

Having wastewater taken away from an area and treated, he said, also protects groundwater and wetlands. Some homeowners have also found having sewer service makes their home more attractive to buyers.

“What we have seen is more people want to buy a home if it has a sewer utility connection,” Sommers said. “It’s one less headache to deal with.”

About 4,500 homes and industries are connected to the town’s sewer system, and the wastewater is treated in Nashua. The town does have a certain allocation on how much Nashua will treat, limiting the number of residents who can become part of the system.

Since the proposed district has been on the books for several years, it was considered when the town looks at sewer capacity and allocations, Sommers said.

Anne Lundregan can be reached at 594-6449 or