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MA - Waste Water Management
Like most residential subdivisions, condominium communities typically tie into municipal water systems; but where that isn’t possible, they rely on private waste water treatment plants. As the owner of that facility, the community association must comply with a host of regulations governing its operation and maintenance. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which enforces the regulations, wants to ensure, among other things, that the treatment plants don’t fail and that if they do there are funds to make necessary repairs.
This is no minor issue, says Jack Carr, a senior manager at Criterium Engineering. The waste water treatment facility “is the most important asset a community has,” he says. “If the system fails, you can’t just put in a bunch of port-a-potties. You’d have to shut down the entire community.” The DEP regulations cap the amount of waste systems can process, specify what materials can be discharged into it, outline detailed maintenance, testing, and reporting obligations, and, crucially, require owners of these systems to maintain adequate funds to repair the equipment and, if necessary, replace it.