Sewer upgrade to cost $1.25M

MOUNT DESERT — “The controllers are acting up,” said Public Works Director Tony Smith, explaining one of the reasons the sewage pump station in Seal Harbor needs to be replaced.

Voters at the May 3 town meeting will be asked to authorize the town to borrow up to $1.25 million for that project and related improvements.

As for the pump station’s controller, “It is getting almost impossible to get replacement parts,” Smith said. “The crew does a good job of making our own parts to keep things running.”

The metal tank in which raw sewage is stored between pump cycles has been in the ground for about 40 years.

“It likely is seeing severe corrosion,” Smith said. “It is probably just a matter of time before we start having problems.”

The pump station is located off Route 3 at Bracy Cove, near Little Long Pond. From there, a pressurized sewer line, or force main, carries sewage to a more elevated location where gravity takes over and the sewage flows to the treatment plant next to the Seal Harbor Village Green.

Smith said the force main also is causing problems. A section of the main that runs within an easement on private property was repaired following a leak. But that section is now to be replaced “so any future problems will hopefully be off private property,” Smith said.

The project also will include replacement of about 150 feet of clay sewer pipe with PVC pipe. That, according to Smith will “reduce the flow of extraneous water into the pipe through old clay pipe joints and any cracks in it.”

Street lights

Voters at town meeting also will be asked to authorize the town to borrow up to $150,000 to replace existing street lights with more energy efficient and dark-sky-compliant LED lights.

The LED lights can be programmed to dim during hours of little public activity, further reducing light pollution and energy consumption.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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