SOUTHINGTON — The town is hoping to minimize the loss of trees during sewer line work on the Curtiss Farm property.
Town engineers are planning to decommission a pump station at the end of Blatchley Avenue and replace it with a gravity sewer line heading west.
The line will run through forested town-owned open space. Dawn Miceli, Town Council vice chairwoman, said she is concerned about the loss of trees, particularly older ones. She hoped that tree preservation was considered in the engineering plans.
“I just wanted to get on the record before this just happened,” said Miceli, also chairwoman of the open space subcommittee.
A sewer project near Panthorn Park years ago resulted in the destruction of trees visible to park users.
“Ultimately I did get the town to plant new trees,” Miceli said.
David Zoni, chairman of the sewer committee, said the town will need to clear a lane about the width of a two-car driveway to install the pipe. The route is limited by topography since it must go downhill, but he feels there is room to avoid cutting older-growth trees.
“They’ll take all that into consideration,” he said of town engineers. “We’d like to disturb as few trees, disturb the environment at a minimum.”
The lane must remain clear of trees to provide access to manholes as well as prevent tree roots from damaging the line. Zoni said that might become an access point to the open space parcel, acting as a trail from the present location of the pump station at the end of Blatchley Avenue.
“Perhaps some trails could be made using that path as the fundamental access and making trails off of that,” he said. “It’ll be literally an opening in the forest.”
The open space committee and the town’s engineering department will work on the sewer line project, Zoni said.
The town has a consultant to evaluate any possible environmental hazards with the old pump station before its demolition.
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