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Open letter to users of the Clarksburg Sewer System.

                             Open Letter to Users of the Clarksburg Sewer System

June 18, 2024

There has been much discussion and unhappiness as it relates to the recently increased rates for sewer users here in Town.  I would like to take this opportunity to explain the drivers of these rate increases, and also remind folks of their responsibilities and requirements as users of the system, when you consider how YOU can help in reducing costs to the treatment plant which will ultimately reduce your usage fees.

The Clarksburg Sewer System is currently subject to an ACO (Administrative Consent Order) issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  That ACO mandates that we repair and upgrade our system to reduce Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) into the system.  Inflow and Infiltration can happen in multiple ways. 

-It can happen when sewer pipes are old, cracked or decayed and allow rainwaters to seep into the sewer line during rain events.  This can be verified by comparing the sewer flows to rainy days to see if there is a relationship between rain events and increase sewer flow. 

-It can happen when a home/business owner drains their sump pump into the sewer system. THIS IS AGAINST THE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND IS SUBJECT TO A $500 PER DAY FINE UNTIL VIOLATION IS CORRECTED.  This also applies to Storm Drains and Roof Drains.  Please understand, it costs the Town, and ultimately YOU by driving up the sheer volume of liquids that require expensive treatments.

The Town has engaged a Waste Water Consultant to guide us through the process of rebuilding manholes and replacing sewer lines where it has been found to be in not so good of condition.  This will be a lengthy, time consuming and expensive requirement, and we will do our absolute best to seek grant funding wherever possible to mitigate the cost burden on the Towns’ sewer users.

Additionally, the Sewer Agreement with the City of North Adams requires Clarksburg to pay 13% of the capital improvement expenses as they relate to the aging Hoosac Water Quality District (HWQD), which processes the sewer sludge.  Clearly, no one wants higher sewer rates, but conversely, failure to maintain the existing sewer infrastructure will only lead to larger outlays of tax dollars down the road.




Carl McKinney, Town Administrator