Videos: Derby WPCA Wants To Borrow Millions To Repair Sewer System

The city’s Water Pollution Control Authority and engineers from Weston & Sampson hosted an informational session Feb. 25 on the WPCA’s desire to borrow millions of dollars to make repairs and upgrades to the city’s aging sewer system.

The same information was scheduled to be presented again during a public information scheduled for Feb. 27 at Hotchkiss Hose on Derby’s east side.

A referendum could happen in the spring — assuming the borrowing questions are approved by the Derby Board of Aldermen and the Derby Board of Apportionment and Taxation.

A key piece of information — how much this borrowing will affect sewer bills? — still wasn’t available Monday. WPCA members said the numbers are still being crunched.

New information unveiled Monday included the fact the WPCA is proposing three referendum questions be put to voters.

Question 1 would ask residents for permission to borrow about $35 million to make eight capital improvements that will keep the sewer infrastructure in good working order for the next 10 years. Click here for a previous story listing the work to be done. This would be a “yes” or “no” question, but keep in mind these questions aren’t official and could change by the time the referendum happens.

Question 2 would ask residents for permission to borrow about $20 million to repair and upgrade the most pressing items on the WPCA repair punch list. Specifically, this refers to three items including the failing Roosevelt Drive pumping station. The city is already in trouble with state environmental authorities for the poor condition of that ancient pumping station. Again, a “yes” or “no” question.

Question 3 would ask residents for permission to borrow about $25 million to make six of the eight needed repairs and upgrades.


The Derby WPCA handed out the following document which lays out the possible referendum questions:

Proposed Derby WPCA Referendum Questions by ValleyIndyDotOrg

The Valley Indy recorded 14 videos at the Feb. 25 meeting. The videos do not show the entire, two-hour meeting, but they give tons of highlights and useful info.

To keep from self-destructing, seven videos are included below and a link at the end of this story will take you to the second set of videos. Enjoy!

The 60 or so people in attendance during the informational meeting on the referendum Feb. 25 at Derby Middle School weren’t thrilled about the prospect of spending money — but they seemed resigned to the fact that repairs are needed.

A common question — how did we get here?

The video below shows John Saccu, chairman of the WPCA, attempting to answer that question (audio is a bit low on this video because it was recorded on an iPhone).

The following videos are posted in the order of how the meeting Feb. 25 transpired. Audio is a-OK on all of them.

In this first video, Christoper Wester, a vice president with Derby’s engineering firm Weston & Sampson, gives an overview of the proposed referendum.

In this video, Wester further explains how Derby got to the point where it has to borrow millions of dollars for repairs:

In this video, Wester gives an overview of a waste water collection system:

In this video, Wester explains and shows examples of Derby’s crumbling sewer pipes.

In this video, the vice president talks about Derby’s old pumping stations, which should have been replaced years ago:

Here Wester talks about “rotting cans” at the bottom of pumping stations where electrical and mechanical equipment is stored. Derby’s pumping stations are in such poor condition they’ve been cited by OSHA:

More on Derby’s crumbling, failing pumping systems:



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