Wannacomet Water and Town Sewer:
The Backbone of Nantucket’s Infrastructure
With over 80 miles of sewer lines and 6,877 water meters served by Wannacomet Water and 868 water meters served by Sconset Water, the island is heavily dependent on this infrastructure. The departments that operate and maintain these services work diligently year-round to make sure everything flows smoothly (pun-intended).
Interestingly, just because a property is served by Town Water (for example), does not mean it is served by Town Sewer (and vice versa). The town has resources on the GIS (Geographical Information System) website link which clearly map out which properties are served by each. On the right hand side there is a selection called “Themes” and if you scroll down to “Map Themes” and select “Utilities” you can see where both water and sewer run.
The sewer department manages two wastewater treatment facilities (one in Sconset and one in Surfside) and 18 pump stations. They are currently working on improvements which include installing a third sewer force main from the Sea Street pump station in Town (which manages 85% of the waste from Town) to the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility, they are expanding sewer service down South Shore Road and are also replacing the sewer and water lines on North Liberty Street. In addition, they clean all the sewer main pipelines at least twice a year and maintain the collection system by monitoring and controlling hydrogen sulfide levels (this is what keeps complaints about bad smells at bay).
Wannacomet and Sconset Water are responsible for bringing clean, drinkable water to a large portion of the island. This water meets or exceeds DEP and EPA standards. Recently, the town worked on expanding water service in the Surfside and Madequecham areas running water mains to homes in those locations after it was discovered that groundwater in those areas could be contaminated with PFAS. The water line in Madequecham was completed in May 2022 and the town is in the early stages of planning the expansion of service down Skyline Drive and Monohansett Road in early 2023.
If you live in an area where either service runs close by your property, residents can apply to either department to connect their home to these services. You may be required to connect to them if it runs directly in front of your property.
In the event someone would like to run town sewer to their property, they will need to first ensure that a sewer main is close by. This would either be in the road in front of their property which is more straightforward and follows the below connection fee chart:
Or if the property is close in proximity to a sewer line on a different road, it is possible to run a connection by following these instructions: A person or organization proposing to add a property (or properties) to the sewer district that require a connection to the system is required to complete a check list (LINK) with their signature that requires evaluation and approval from the BOH, Sewer Commissioners, Planning Office and Wannacomet Water. A rating system is used which determines whether an applicant will be allowed to tie into the collection system. The rating system is based on the following: failed septic system, land use, wellhead protection zone, other special circumstances. In addition, the applicant needs final approval from the NSD. The NSD requires an Application for Permit for Sewer System Extension, Connection, or Industrial Wastewater.
In the event you would like to connect to town water, the standard fee is $5,000 for a 1” connection. There is a $100 fee to transfer a property into a new name (this would happen upon sale). Please click HERE to see the application form. In addition, fire hydrants are provided by the municipal water system, and property owners can apply to have fire service run to their properties at their expense by completing the following application here.
Additional resources to find out about current projects the sewer department and water company are undertaking, FAQs and applications for various services can be found on the town website.