Why Wolcott Wastewater?

A community wastewater system for Wolcott Village would boost rural economic development, protect existing and future housing, and safeguard the environment.

Our window of opportunity.

Wolcott has the unique advantage—along with several other villages across Vermont—to install a community wastewater system in the most affordable way possible.

A significant amount of funding is secured.

In order to make this investment sustainable for Wolcott residents, we have applied for and received funding sources to cover a majority of the project’s cost; however, we will lose funding if we do not take advantage now (i.e., use it, or lose it).

  • $2.56 million in ARPA funding secured—with an additional $1.4 million pending.
  • $250,000 in DEC Village Wastewater Planning Grant loan forgiveness expected.
  • $640,000 CRRP Grant secured.

Who pays for the hook-up?

  • Construction costs will cover the expense of hooking-up homes in the service area at the time of development.
  • Maintenance fees to be paid by Village wastewater system users.

What are the benefits?

Increased property value.

Maintaining or developing homes and businesses grows the Grand List. Residences in the service area could add another bedroom or have an accessory apartment, and as a result this could attract families for new students for the Wolcott school.

Protecting our water quality.

Septic systems in the Village need replacement. Aging and failing systems were impacted during the July 2023 flood. The environmental conditions of properties in the Village area are not well-suited for on-site septic systems.

The public system will be flood resilient and ensure wastewater does not back up into homes during future flood events. With the dispersal portion of the system near the elementary school, the “public/shared leach field” will be up the hill and away from the river.

Where is the service area?

The proposed service area boundaries are approximately the same as the designated Village Center, plus roughly ¼ mile.


What else could we do with it?

Activities or development a community wastewater system could support:

  • Capitalize on the our location as a stopping point along the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.
  • New community gathering places and local businesses.
  • New job opportunities from businesses that grow in Wolcott.
  • Maintaining existing homes and developing new mixed housing availability.
  • Support local visions and dreams for businesses, multi-use properties.
  • Create a welcoming environment for folks in Wolcott and visitors by developing public restrooms and business establishments.

Other efforts could align to make the Village an attractive stopping point for tourists, including:

  • The new School Street bridge.
  • The Community Town Forest
  • A woodworking/art gallery
  • Event spaces

What exactly would we be buying?

The proposed community wastewater system is a Septic Tank and Effluent Pump (STEP) system.

  • “STEP” Tanks collect sewage from buildings at each property that hooks up to the system. Solids settle out in the tanks and will be pumped periodically.
  • The remaining wastewater effluent from the tanks is sent from each property to sewer pipes in the street.
  • As the wastewater is collected from all properties, it will reach a collection pump station near the Town Forest.
  • A pressurized pipe sends “doses” of collected wastewater from the pump station to the “public leach field,” aka disposal field, up the hill to fields at the elementary school.
  • The disposal field will include subsurface drip disposal lines, which are shallow, small tubes that release the effluent into the soil.

You can read more about the proposed system and alternatives considered in the Preliminary Engineering Report linked on our Wastewater Committee page.

Next steps.

There will be two votes on June 11, 2024:

  1. A school district vote will be to site the dispersal system at the school’s athletic fields.
  2. The town vote will be to fund the difference in capital costs after all grants have been awarded.

Interested in learning more?

Join our Wastewater Committee meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:00PM, at the Wolcott Town Office or by Zoom.

Vermont Community Examples


The Town of Rochester invested in a soil-based wastewater disposal field in the town green that supports businesses and homes in the village center.


The Town of Waitsfield started by installing a drinking water supply system serving Waitsfield Village and Irasville. Next they identified the pockets of soil in and around the villages that were suitable for wastewater disposal and worked with the landowners to make those areas available for use by village businesses and properties.


The Town of Warren created a large community disposal area at the elementary school and two smaller shared systems to serve the village area. There remain a number of individual systems in the village that did not need to be replaced.

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