To the Editor:

We, the members of the Waitsfield Conservation Commission, want to share some thoughts on the wastewater system. Siting a water supply system next to a wastewater disposal system is a risky move.  One can interfere with the other with potentially severe adverse effects on the intake and disposal sides. Good quality water is absolutely essential to human and most of all other life.  Creating hazards to maintenance of that good quality water also creates hazards to our quality of life.

Small land ownership areas characterize the village and Irasville, sometimes resulting in water intake systems and septic disposal fields being placed near one another.  We’ve learned much about the many adverse effects of this practice.  Part of that learning is that supply and disposal need to be well separated if both are to function safely and reliably.


Some of the landowners in these areas rely on wells for water supplies but every single one relies on leachfields for their wastewater disposal.  These septic leachfields can contaminate nearby wells, the Mad River, its associated wetlands and tributaries, and adversely affect the wildlife that uses this habitat.  With many swimmers using the Mad River a public health hazard can develop.  At some point in the future every single leachfield is at risk of replacement outside its present location.  Ownership boundaries, soil conditions, topography, and presence in the flood plain are examples of limitations which can make relocation impossible or inadvisable.

Our community has an extremely favorable opportunity to achieve a remedy.  Due to the earlier foresight of its citizens, the town already owns a suitable collective treatment and disposal site at the Munn field just south of Hap’s Garage.  Much analysis and planning has been accomplished to date.  Most of the money needed is accessible through grants and the remainder can be financed by the users of the system through a low interest loan.  All the select board needs is voter approval to proceed with the funding process.

This project is an investment in our personal, public, environmental, and economic future.  We urge your vote in favor of that future and of the Waitsfield Community Wastewater project.