Written by: Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland

Many communities’ wastewater treatment plants and related infrastructure are located in or near floodplains, which makes sense given how these facilities work. However, this also means that they are prone to flooding. The Town of Waterbury, Vermont experienced catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Irene in 2011, as did the rest of the state. Their wastewater pump station was inundated and rendered inoperable for several days. To reduce the chances of this happening again, they implemented several flood mitigation measures at the facility over the next few years. Then, in 2023, major floods hit the Town again, putting their mitigation projects to the test. In this podcast, Bill Woodruff, the Town’s Public Works Director, recounts their experiences and lessons learned from both events and shares the many ways that the Town has worked to improve all of their infrastructure’s resiliency to flooding.