Colchester’s Water Resources Plan Wins High Acclaim!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

We have excellent news!

The Town of Colchester’s Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan has been recognized by American Council of Engineering Companies of Vermont (ACEC-VT) with its highest honor for engineering excellence.

Aldrich + Elliott, Stone Environmental, Inc., and the Town of Colchester—all of which collaborated in the massive, multiyear study funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency—will each be named on the award that will be presented in a ceremony at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington on May 29.

What is so phenomenal about the plan?

The plan is the result of a cutting-edge approach to managing water resources within the community—a wholly integrative rather than a siloed approach that encompasses multiple agencies involved with wastewater, stormwater, and land use into one plan rather than treating them individually—and it is a concept that the US EPA promotes as a standard management practice.

“Colchester has twenty-seven miles of shoreline—aside from our residents, it is our community’s greatest asset,” said Bryan Osborne, the Town of Colchester’s director of Public Works. “Colchester has worked to be a leader in managing its water resources, pushing the envelope in trying to manage resources as best we can … and this study highlights that. Our water resources are such an important part of the fabric of the community.”

A number of important recommendations resulted from the study; to read the final study’s comprehensive summary and recommendations, please click here.

The Town of Colchester’s ongoing efforts to protect our water resources are numerous. In October, we announced a revolving loan fund and a mini-grant fund opportunity to qualifying Colchester residents to assist with the cost of improving high-risk wastewater systems.

And the ACEC-VT’s recognition of Colchester’s Integrated Water Resources Management plan is not the first time that your town’s Public Works Department has received commendation for its efforts in addressing water issues. Last fall, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), through its Vermont Stormwater Program with the Watershed Management Division, recognized the Town of Colchester’s Public Works Department for its excellent stormwater management plan. In fact, the VT DEC was so impressed with the Town’s stormwater management plan that it intends to offer it to a number of other communities as a model. (To read our September 3 article about it, please click here, and to access the plan, please click here.)

In December 2013, Osborne offered a letter to our community to let everyone know how the Regional Stormwater Education Program (RSEP) efforts were progressing and to express appreciation to residents for their efforts (to read that letter, please click here).

For more information about Colchester’s efforts to protect our natural resources, please contact the Public Works Department at (802) 264-5620, or e-mail Director Bryan Osborne at

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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