School septic engineering to begin

TREMONT — The School Committee last week voted to accept an engineering proposal for dealing with the failing septic system at the Tremont Consolidated School.

The committee, at its Nov. 8 meeting, voted to accept a proposal prepared jointly by G.F. Johnston and Associates and Atlantic Resource Company, according to school Principal Jandrea True.

The $7,800 bid was one of two the school received for the project. Travis Noyes of CES Inc. provided a less detailed proposal with a price of $12,000 that included the caveat that the fee would be reduced if the Department of Health and Human Services waives or doesn’t require certain steps.

Problems with the septic system first surfaced in January when Roger St. Amand noticed seepage while walking on a trail at the school. St. Amand is the owner of Atlantic Resource Company.

In May, the system was pumped and inspected using a video camera. The video showed that the 20-year-old system had not been properly installed. The system has three drainage fields and not the four shown on the plans. In addition, a distribution box was installed so that effluent was going only into the two smaller drainage fields, leading to them becoming plugged.

While the complete replacement of the system could be the best solution, Johnston said this week that he and St. Amand intend to first consider using parts of the existing system to keep costs down. They will begin looking at that option soon, Johnston said. Any major work would wait until spring.

According to their proposal, Johnston and St. Amand are to conduct an inspection of the current septic system, calculate water usage and consider the future needs at the school. Soil tests, surveys and a site evaluation will be done. The engineers then will recommend a course of action, design the system and work with local and state agencies to obtain the proper permits.

The proposal accepted last week does not include any assistance from Johnston and St. Amand during the bid process with contractors or the oversight of construction. They said they are available for these tasks if the school so desires.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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