Town of Bethel is Holding a REFERENDUM on the Bergstrom Well Water Treatment Project, Dec. 1st

Report by Paula Antolini, November 28, 2022, 8:22AM EDT

On DECEMBER 1, 2022 the Town of Bethel is holding a REFERENDUM on the “BERGSTROM WELL AND WATER TREATMENT PROJECT” Absentee Ballots are only for this vote. They cannot be mailed per state statute. This vote is for DECEMBER 1st. WELL PROJECT ONLY.

[NOTE: FEBRUARY 7th is the SPECIAL ELECTION date, at which we will elect a new FIRST SELECTMAN. The ABSENTEE BALLOTS are AVAILABLE FOR THE SPECIAL ELECTION 30 DAYS PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 7, 2022 NOT BEFORE.) Elections (not Referenda) allow for mailing absentee ballots upon completed application. It is too early for these.]


More info.:

11/14/2022 – Bergstorm Well Water Treatment Project


Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center

1 School Street, Bethel, Connecticut 06801

Telephone: (203) 794-8549

Fax:  (203) 794-8767

November 10, 2022


What is it?

The project is to provide a new source of water supply for the Bethel Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to serve our customers. 

What does it include?

The project includes a high yield well at 1.15 million gallons per day and new water treatment building.   Water treatment system includes filtration for iron and manganese removal, backwash and recycle backwash systems, chemical treatment including disinfection and corrosion control, electrical and instrumentation components, operator control room and emergency power generation.

Why being proposed?

  • Provide additional supply to maintain a Connecticut Department of Public Health required Margin of Safety for the 50 year planning period
  • Allow the aging reservoirs to be retired.These sources have low yield, water quality issues and are not cost effective to upgrade
  • Extend the life of the Maple Avenue Wells by alternating the use of each of the wells

Why now?

This source has been investigated as a potential water supply for over 20 years.  The poor water quality of Chestnut Ridge Reservoir (excessive trihalomethanes) and Eureka Reservoir (taste & odor) necessitates their upgrade or replacement.  Based on engineering reports, the two reservoirs’ upgrades would be costly and produce a low yield of water and another source of water supply would still be required in the future. 

The project has been identified and included in the Bethel PUC Capital Improvement Plan and the CTDPH required Water Supply Plan.

The Bergstrom Well WTP has been approved by the state regulatory agencies.

How is it being paid for?

The project will be paid for through a low interest loan at 2% over 20 years, reduced by all available grants.  The project is eligible for a total of $3.1M in grants.  Payment for the appropriated sums shall be paid by the water account users of the Bethel PUC.

If approved, what is the Construction Schedule?

Construction would be expected to start this spring (2023) and it is anticipated to be complete in 2 years (2025).


Post-Scoping Notice for Bergstrom Wellfield and Treatment Plant

Municipality where project will be located: Bethel

Address of Possible Project Location: 49 Plumtrees Road, Bethel CT 06801

Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) Determination: On March 22, 2022, the Department of Public Health (DPH) published a Notice of Scoping to solicit public comments for this project in the Environmental Monitor.

Based on the DPH’s environmental assessment of this project which includes a review of comments provided by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) dated April 14, 2022, it has been determined that the project does not require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) under CEPA. The DPH will coordinate with the water utility to ensure that the recommendations received during the Scoping period are implemented.

The agency’s conclusion is documented in a Memorandum of Findings and Determination and an Environmental Review Checklist.

If you have questions about the project, you can contact the agency at:

            Name:  Mr. Eric McPhee

            Agency:  Department of Public Health—Drinking Water Section

            Address:  410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 12DWS, PO Box 340308

                           Hartford, CT  06134-0308


Inquiries and requests to view and or copy documents, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, must be submitted to the sponsoring State Agency:

            Name:   Mr. John Tyler Castellanete

            Agency:   Department of Public Health—Hearing Office

            Address:   410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 13PHO, PO Box 340308

                            Hartford, CT  06134-0308


Phone:       860-566-5682

What happens next:  The DPH expects the project to go forward.  This is expected to be the final notice of the project to be published in the Environmental Monitor.