Wastewater System Superintendent – Apply Today

The Wastewater System Superintendent (WSS) leads the operation, inspection, maintenance and repair for the District’s wastewater collection system, including gravity sewer, force mains, manholes, lift stations, generators, and the instrumentation and controls. The WSS also monitors On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) operations and other duties required in operating the Town’s On-Site Wastewater Management Program. This is a part-time position with flexible hours.


Performs work in the field including scheduling and supervising the operation, inspection, maintenance and repair of lift stations, instrumentation & control systems, emergency generators, manholes, mains and equipment by contract operations. Work with/oversee outside engineers in the preparation of plans and specifications for new sewers and lift stations. Oversee inspection of sewer construction activities. Perform inspections of tie-ins to the Collection System. Liaison with state and federal agencies regarding sewer system design, permitting and construction. Insure all permits and easements are obtained for construction. Review and comment on plans and specifications for proposed work by developers. Participate with Town departments in review and permitting of commercial and residential site plans involving sewers and septic systems. Respond to emergency situations. (24/7/365) to coordinate services by outside contractors. Respond to customer service requests and complaints relative to wastewater management. Read and record meters for billing. Write reports relative to inspections, system deficiencies, system needs, and other activities. Make recommendations regarding budget, maintenance and capital plans. Performs checks of the facility to document operational status and maintenance requirements. Other duties as assigned.


  • BS in Civil Engineering preferred
  • Registration as a Rhode Island Septic System Inspector (or ability to obtain) is desired

Submit resume and cover letter if interested. No calls please. Relocation assistance will not be provided.

Job Type: Part-time

Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)

Wipes Clog Pipes

Wipes Clog Pipes

Think soft, convenient wet wipes are harmless?  Think again!  When disposed of incorrectly, wet wipes turn into real monsters.  All types of wipes, be it for babies, disinfecting, personal cleaning, or makeup removal, create nasty and serious problems in our sewer system.

Even flushing one seemingly harmless wipe leads to trouble.  Unlike toilet paper, wet wipes do not break down in water.  Instead, they lurk in our pipes, clinging to other sewage to form large masses that block our pipelines and damage our water reclamation facility equipment.  These growing monsters cause raw sewage to overflow in your home and ooze from manhole covers. The removal of this debris and the repair of damaged equipment can potentially lead to greater expenses for the Sewer System.

What Can You Do?

  • Wipe-out Wipes: Use good old-fashioned toilet paper to clean up.
  • Make Your Own Wipes:  Takea tip from Dr. Oz.  Keep a spray bottle of water by the toilet. Fold up your toilet paper and spritz with water, then wipe.  Want something fancier?  Try this recipe for a  homemade wipe solution: 2/3 c. warm water, 1/2 tsp. baby wash, & 1-2 drops of tea tree oil.  Mix in a container to use when the time is right.
  • Remember:  YOUR TOILET IS NOT A TRASH CAN!  We aren’t telling you not to use wipes, but if you choose these products, PUT THEM IN THE TRASH can, not the commode.  Afraid it may cause odors?  Place used wipes in a small trash can with a tight-fitting lid, a Diaper Genie II, or old grocery bags you can tightly seal.  Place an air freshener that neutralizes odors in the bathroom.

 See for yourself

View a comparison test conducted by Consumer Reports to see how toilet paper and “flushable” wipes respond to water.  https://www.consumerreports.org/video/view/money/shopping/22783507001/are-flushable-wipes-flushable/

“When in doubt, throw it out.”

Show Your Sewer Line Some TLC

The good news is that your private sewer line is buried and protected from a lot of surface damage. The bad news is that since it is buried, you cannot tell when it is in need of repairs. However, you can use the following simple steps to properly care for your private sewer line:

  • Never put grease in any of your drains or your toilet. Grease should be stored in a container to let harden and then disposed of as trash. Your garbage disposal is not a substitute for trash or compost. Use it sparingly and flush with clean water for at least one minute after use. Large food scraps should be composted or place in your trash.
  • Cat litter, diapers, baby wipes, feminine products, hair, cigarettes, cotton balls, Q-tips, and tissues belong in the trash and not down the toilet or sink. Coffee grounds, eggshells and almost all kitchen scraps (except meat, cheese, bones, dairy products) can go in the compost pile or in the trash.
  • Check for sinkholes/depressions near your house, on your property, or in the boulevard/street near your home. Sinkholes/depressions typically imply that there is a void under the ground. Such a void might be due to a break in your private sewer line that is allowing soil from the surrounding ground to enter a section of your private sewer line.
  • For disposal of hazardous household materials and pharmaceutical waste, visit the RI DEM at http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/wastemanagement/facilities/pharmaceuticals.php
  • Check for basement floor backups, slow drains, or odors. When a private sewer line emits odors through a floor drain, the cause could be a clog that is preventing flow of sewage through a section of the private sewer line.
  • Clogs are typically due to either tree roots protruding into and blocking a section of a private sewer line or debris introduced into the private sewer line via a broken or collapsed pipe section. Having your private sewer line cleaned and televised periodically is a good practice that can prevent expensive future sewer repairs.



4 Common Myths About Septic Systems

Do you believe these septic tank suburban legends?

Sharing ideas and providing knowledge on septic systems is one of our most important company values. However, sometimes when speaking to customers, we hear misinformation on how to properly care for a septic system. Today, we want to clear up some of those myths.

  1. Septic Tank Repair Costs

Myth: It’s cheaper to repair than to pump.

Fact: While pumping a septic system can be a significant cost every three to five years, it’s sure cheaper than any repair that may come from not pumping or maintaining your septic system properly. If a septic system failed from lack of pumping and maintenance, it could be thousands of dollars for repairs — which is money that could’ve been saved if it had been pumped once every three to five years.

  1. Using Septic Tank Additives

Myth: I just flush some Rid-X or yeast down the drain to keep it healthy.

Bottom of Form

Fact: The human body uses many enzymes to break down our food into small particles. Those enzymes are plentiful in our sewage and septic systems, so additives are an unnecessary addition to a septic tank. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says, “Beware of septic tank additives! … Periodic pumping is the only true way to ensure that septic systems work properly and provide many years of service.”

  1. Building Above a Septic Tank

Myth: It’s OK to build on top of a septic tank as long as it’s not a permanent structure.

Fact: Building on top of a septic system can cause many issues. A common problem when building over the system tank is not being to access the tank to pump it out, which could cause a lot of frustration and mess when dealing with an emergency or back up. Building on top of your drain field can cause your drain field to fail from a lack of oxygen going into the ground, which helps your drain field naturally treat the wastewater from the tank. Building or driving on top of septic systems can cause some major issues, so it’s best to just relocate anything heavy and obtrusive.

  1. Septic Tanks in Trouble

Myth: If I have a problem, I’ll be reported or turned in to the county.

Fact: It is not the main job of any septic service company to regulate septic systems. Their job is to help your family, your home and your septic system work together in the best way possible. It’s in everyone’s best interest to help you fix your system before it gets to the extreme of an issue. We hope if you have any questions or issues with your system, you will speak with your septic service provider.

Caring for your septic system doesn’t have to a burden. With the help of a qualified septic system provider, you can be armed with all the knowledge you need to make sure you, your family, your home and your septic system work together.


Are You Making These Septic System Mistakes?

Learn some basic septic system maintenance tips to avoid a breakdown at the worst possible time.

Avoid these common mistakes and your septic system should have a long and efficient life:

  1. Paper

Sure, toilet paper is made to flush down the toilet. But to protect your system, be prudent with the quantity of paper used. Toilet paper does NOT include tampons, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers or baby wipes. These items do not break down sufficiently in the septic tank and can cause clogs, resulting in possible damage.

  1. Grease

Do not pour grease down the sink or any pipes leading to the septic system. Grease congeals and over time clogs pipes, builds up in the septic tank and eventually blocks drain field lines. Dispose of grease in your garbage.

  1. Garbage disposal

For the sake of your septic system, forget you have one (if you do). It is too convenient to scrape all kinds of things down the disposal that absolutely should NOT end up in your septic tank — fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, bits and pieces of bone and meat, as well as grease. These items do not break down in the natural atmosphere of the septic tank. Instead they build up and cause eventual clogging and blocking of plumbing pipes and possibly drain field lines.

  1. Maintenance

Please don’t wait until your septic tank is backing up to decide it is time to pump it. Just as your car requires regular maintenance to keep it running at peak performance, your septic system needs maintenance on a regular schedule as well — Just not as often as your car. We recommend pumping your septic tank every 5 to 7 years, depending on how many people live in your house and how much water is used.

  1. Save your money

Additives do not extend the life of your septic system.  They just give a feeling of false security. Your septic system requires no additional additives to function properly.

  1. Laundry

One of the wonders of modern life is the washing machine. No more going down to the river to scrub our dirty clothes with a rock. However, consider your septic system — as well as the environment — when doing your laundry. The washing machine puts out a tremendous amount of water, so try and wash full loads. Spreading your loads of laundry over several days is a good idea as well. Multiple loads on the same day may put a strain on your drain field lines.

  1. Cat litter

Even though the box of cat litter says it’s flushable — DON’T. Not if you have a septic tank system. Cat litter does not break down totally and will clog and build up in the septic tank and lines. The convenience is not worth the expense of a repair.

Being mindful of what goes down your plumbing lines and out into your septic system will go a long way to ensuring the efficiency and lifespan of your system.


Septic System Maintenance Tips for New Owners

You’re looking to buy a home with a septic system, which you’ve never had before — so what do you do now?

When purchasing a home with a septic system for the first time, it can seem scary. However, with 25 percent of American households relying on septic, individualized treatment systems are common, easy to maintain household features. This alternative to sewer allows homeowners to control their water use and disposal.

Learn about the home’s specific septic system

Before purchasing a home with a septic system, any prospective buyer should be familiar with how septic systems work and the home’s system type. The homebuyer should ask the seller for any documents they have on the system, the name of the previous service provider and their permission to contact the provider.

If this information isn’t available, state and local governments will sometimes have records of permits, installations and an “as-built” — a drawing of the septic system. Also, many books and online resources are available to learn how a system works.

Advanced septic tank care

Some homes may have more advanced systems, especially as state and local governments become more serious about clean water. Advanced treatment technology systems, or ATT systems, are becoming the standard.

ATT systems involve an extra filter after the septic tank. This filter can vary from a sand filter, which looks like a large above ground sandbox that filters effluent, to a secondary tank with an aeration unit.

In some states, ATT systems require a contract with a septic service provider to provide maintenance at least once a year. Homeowners should check with local and state government offices to ensure they’re properly maintaining their ATT systems, as these are expensive to replace.

Learn the septic system’s overall condition

Inspections provide very detailed insight into your septic system’s health. Like a yearly medical checkup, preventative care is the best maintenance for your system. Performing a septic inspection before purchasing a home not only gives buyers a good look at how the system is performing, but it can also help them make big decisions on needed repairs.

Steps like making sure your septic tank or system is accessible for repairs or clean-outs will help make sure your system lasts as long as possible.

While some states require time-of-transfer inspections, other states have virtually no rules. It’s best to peruse your state and county governments’ regulatory websites for their rules on septic systems and septic inspections.

If there are no rules or required forms for inspections, find a septic company to pump the septic system and assess the tank’s inside condition. Ask them to uncover at least the first distribution box, since some systems have more than one. Examining these working parts can tell a homeowner if there are holes, root infiltration from nearby vegetation or clogs that need to be fixed.

New homeowners should keep inspection and maintenance records in a handy spot in case the system ever backs up or they sell the home.

Learn about septic tank maintenance

Knowledge is power — especially for septic system owners. First time septic owners should learn when they need to have their system pumped. On average, every three to five years works best, but this varies depending on the amount of people in the home and the size of the system.

A local septic service provider can help you find a more personalized time range.

Reduce water usage to maintain your septic system

Homeowners should look at their water usage and try to reduce it to prevent overloading the septic system with water, especially if they live in a very rainy or wet climate. Whirlpool tubs, washing machines and dishwashers can overload a system, especially if used all in one day. It’s best to space out laundry and dishes throughout the week to keep the system running smoothly.

Don’t let your septic system go down the drain

Finally, homeowners should consider what they put down their drains. Garbage disposals can burden a septic tank by adding too many solids.

If anyone in the home is using regular medications, for example chemotherapy drugs or antibiotics, flushing these can hurt the tank’s naturally occurring good bacteria. This prevents the tank from breaking down solids properly, causing potential failures in the drain field.

The best way to help your septic tank process solids or medications is to pump more regularly.

Septic tank maintenance doesn’t have to be scary

Armed with the necessary information, new homeowners can make their septic systems work. While owning a septic system for the first time can seem daunting, there are many resources to help. Regular pumping and septic tank maintenance from a qualified service provider is key to making sure your system works properly and lasts a long time.

Article originally posted on Angie’s List : https://www.angieslist.com/articles/septic-system-maintenance-new-owners.htm


Considering Buying or Selling a property in Tiverton – take a look at this handy guide for what you need to know about the septic system.

What do I need to know about the Septic System if I’m selling or buying a house in Tiverton?

When selling or buying a house in Tiverton with a private wastewater system (septic/cesspool), there are two main things to consider:

1)  what is required by the town ordinance, state law or RIDEM;

2)  what is the practical thing to do to complete the transaction.


What’s required by Town Ordinance, the State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM)?

1)  The Tiverton Town Ordinance (Appendix C:  Article IX: Sec. 18-9.8) requires that all properties have a septic inspection prior to the transfer of a property. The ordinance does not specify who is required to pay for the inspection (buyer or seller) nor at what point prior to sale the inspection needs to be performed – time of listing, offer, purchase and sale etc.  If the system fails, the ordinance requires that the system be replaced within 1 year of the failure. (Note: serious failures that pose an immediate risk to public health may require remedial action sooner.)

2)  RIDEM is responsible for enforcing the 2007 Cesspool Act. Under this act, any cesspool within 200 feet of the water (coastal waters or a public drinking watershed) must be replaced. RIDEM has sent many homeowners notices that they are in violation of this act. RIDEM can levy fines and take other actions to compel property owners to update their systems. If you are buying or selling a property within 200 feet of the water, you should be aware of this law and contact RI DEM with any questions or to get a status of the property’s compliance with the Act.

3)  In 2015 the RI General Assembly updated the 2007 Cesspool Act to include any property with a cesspool that is being transferred to another owner. Specifically, any property with a cesspool that is transferred after January 1,

2016, must replace the cesspool with a RI DEM permitted onsite system (or tie in to sewer when available) within one year of the date of transfer. Unlike the MA Title V law, which requires the system be replaced prior to the sale, the RI law allows up to one year from the time of sale AND does not specify if the buyer or seller shall bear the cost. Frequently Asked Questions can be found on our website at: http://www.twwd.org/dashboard/septic/

Outside of town ordinance and State law, what are some practical things to consider prior to buying or selling a home with private wastewater system in Tiverton?

1)  Check Inspection Records – All licensed septic inspectors are required to report inspections to TWWD through an online system. The public can access records from this system by going to  www.septicsearch.com . Simply choose ‘Rhode Island’ from the drop down menu for state, and ‘Tiverton’ from the drop down menu for town. Then click on ‘Records

Search’ to search for the property.  When you find the property you are looking for, click on ‘View History’. If there has been an inspection, you will see it at the bottom under ‘Service Records’.  If there are no records, most likely an inspection has not been performed. Note: It may take a few weeks for new inspections to enter the system.

2)  Check RIDEM Records – RIDEM has a searchable database for all septic system permits and installations performed since 1991. Go to https://www.ri.gov/DEM/isdssearch/ to search for a specific property. This will tell you if a permit was pulled and if it was installed and deemed conforming upon completion by RIDEM. Any property that does not have a record in the system, most likely dates prior to 1991 and would most likely not pass today’s inspection standards.

3)  Consider Getting An Inspection Prior to Listing – Though not required, it is often beneficial for sellers to get an inspection prior to or at the time of listing their homes.  Knowing what you have will allow your agent to price your home properly and let you consider how you want to handle a failed septic if you have one. The buyer will find out at some point. If they find a failed septic too late in the process it can cause deals to fall through or put you in a poor negotiating position.  Consult your realtor to see if this fits with the strategy to sell your home.

What happens if the system fails?

Per town ordinance, failed systems are required to be repaired or replaced within 1 year of the inspection showing the failure. Systems with failures that pose an immediate risk to public health may be required to take remedial action sooner.

Should a failed system be replaced it prior to sale?

There is no state law that requires systems be replaced by the seller prior to closing.  Buyers and sellers are free to negotiate this as part of the sale, both in the case of a failed septic and in the case of a cesspool subject to the RI Cesspool Act.

However, we consistently have residents coming to our office who have lost buyers or are not getting offers on their homes because of failed septic issues. In addition, with stricter lending requirements these days, many banks simply will not provide financing for homes with failed systems.

If you are buying a home that has a failed septic system, check with your bank to see if they will be able to close if the septic has failed. If you are selling, you may want to consider replacing the system to remove this obstacle for the transaction and open the doors to many more buyers.

How much will it cost to replace a failed septic/cesspool?

New septic system costs range from $15,000 up to $50,000. Most systems in Tiverton are in the $18,000 to $25,000 range. You will need to get a design and cost estimate from a professional installer for your specific property as every case is unique.

Yikes! That’s a lot of money. How do I pay for this?

TWWD helps to administer the Community Septic System Loan Program (CSSLP). This is a low interest loan available to Tiverton residents. As of April 2018, the program provides a 10 year loan at 1% interest. If you are interested in learning more about the program and applying for funds, you may download the program application from TWWD’s website at:  http://www.twwd.org/dashboard/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/csslp_preapp_complete_2018.pdf


Please note that page 2 of the program application includes an overview of the program requirements. The program application is sent to TWWD’s office at 400 Fish Road. This is not the loan application but simply an application to request to be part of the program. TWWD checks to make sure the applicant is current on their taxes and that they have appropriate plans for the new system. From there TWWD sends a request to Rhode Island Housing to initiate a loan application. RIH performs all loan underwriting, closing etc. They will contact you directly with a loan application packet. You should only provide loan application information to RIH.  TWWD will not request or accept any personal financial information.

Important Update Phase 1 Sewer Expansion Project

Dear Friends of Tiverton Wastewater District:

We are writing to update you on the status of the wastewater infrastructure projects the Tiverton Waste Water District (TWWD) is planning to undertake shortly.

As you know, TWWD has been working towards installing sewers in the Riverside Drive and Robert Gray Avenue area. In December 2017, after the design work was completed, the District advertised for construction bids for the Phase 1 Project. In response to that invitation to bid, in January 2018 we received 6 bids from qualified contractors. Unfortunately, all the bids came back with a much higher cost than anticipated. The cost of these proposals would not allow the District to award the contract and to proceed to construction.

The TWWD Board of Directors held a meeting on January 22, 2018 and discussed the bids and the District’s options. Proceeding with the project is necessary. Groundwater from non-compliant and failing systems and cesspools threatens our drinking water, ruins the ecology of our Bay, and impacts the beauty, health and prosperity of Tiverton. It’s one of the most critical issues facing Tiverton and we must address it. However, it is also necessary that TWWD conduct itself in an open, transparent, and honest manner and that we keep our word to the residents of the District.

Because the District would not be able to proceed with the project within the “not-to-exceed” costs promised, the TWWD Board of Directors voted to cancel the bids and to redesign the project in a way that would result in lower cost proposals. While the redesign will cause the project to change, the residents of Riverside Drive and Robert Gray Ave will not be impacted by these changes.

We understand that these changes might raise many questions for you. We are committed to supplying you with fast, up to date, and accurate information about the project. The best way for us to be able to do that is through electronic communication. Please visit our website and sign up to receive these updates. It is important that you provide your name, physical address, and email address so that we can insure that you are receiving information about the overall project and about your specific neighborhood area as well. If you are not comfortable signing up via the website, please email your information to info@twwd.org , and we will add you to the list. All of your information will be kept confidential.

Please also feel free to call the office at (401)625-6701.

We thank you for your patience.


Leroy Kendricks, Chairman Board of Directors