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Hearing Tuesday on possible sale of Farmington River water to UConn – The Collinsville Press
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Hearing Tuesday on possible sale of Farmington River water to UConn

Farmington River in Burlington.

Farmington River in Burlington.

FARMINGTON — A public hearing on the University of Connecticut’s plans to purchase additional water for its campus will be held on Tuesday, January 22, at 7 p.m. in the Human Resources Training Room in the Munson Building on the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington.

One of three proposals that UConn is considering to purchase an additional 2 million gallons of water a day is from the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), that would get its water from the Farmington River watershed, including the Nepaug and Barkhamsted reservoirs, which are fed by the Nepaug River and the east branch of the Farmington River, respectively.

Members of the public can make comments to be included as part of UConn’s Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE). The public comment period, which was set to expire on Jan. 4, has been extended to Jan. 31.

“Securing additional sources of supply to meet these planned growth needs and maintaining an adequate margin of safety is essential to properly operating and managing a public water supply system,” said Thomas Callahan, UConn associate vice president.

The three options that are being reviewed by UConn include:

  • A connection with the Metropolitan District Commission, which would extend a pipeline from East Hartford to the region.
  • A connection with Connecticut Water Company, whose pipeline would be extended from Tolland.
  • A connection with Windham Water Works in the southern section of Mansfield.

The process is governed by rules of the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act, which require UConn to review and respond to comments it receives in response to the EIE; prepare a report for consideration by the UConn Board of Trustees; and, if approved, forward it to the state Office of Policy and Management for review.

Each alternative would also require permits and approvals, continuing to provide opportunity for public input at various stages. UConn hopes to complete the EIE this spring and negotiate agreements later in the year, although design and construction would take between three and five years, depending on the option selected.

OTHER INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES

The EIE is available for review online at: http://www.envpolicy.uconn.edu/eie.html.

News coverage from New Hartford Plus

The Farmington Patch covered a public hearing on Jan. 17 hosted by the MDC to answer questions about its proposal to sell additional water to UConn. Click on the link for coverage from the Patch.

An email from the president of the Farmington Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited urging that UConn resolve its water issues through conservation, water reuse and purchase of water from local sources – not the Farmington Valley watershed.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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