SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Maine Department of Labor has cited the Southwest Harbor Water and Sewer District with violations found during a January inspection at the district’s wastewater treatment plant on Apple Lane.
The labor department cited the district with 11 violations at the plant, most of which involved safety training for employees, according to district manager Steve Kenney.
“We had new employees who weren’t trained,” Kenney said.
In response, the district had a Maine Municipal Association employee conduct a training session with the staff to get them in compliance.
“We took care of most of this the first week [after the inspection],” Kenney said of dealing with the violations.
The fast response led to the department reducing the $1,100 fine levied against the district.
“Because we responded so quickly, the fine went down to $110,” Kenney said.
The inspection found issues other than those involving training.
Copies of hepatitis B vaccinations records for employees were not available for all employees. This has been corrected, Kenney said.
An opening for a ladderway to an overhead storage platform was not guarded as required to keep an employee from falling through the open hole.
Flammable liquids are to be kept in covered containers when not in use. The inspection found that a five-gallon bucket containing a flammable liquid was stored under a stairwell.
Kenney said the labor department is satisfied with the steps taken by the district. The department’s records show the case was closed as of May 18. Phone calls and an email to the department seeking comment were not returned by press time.
The violations are the latest in a series of issues that has plagued the district since taking over operation of the water and sewer departments from the town in January 2016. In August 2016, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found numerous violations at the wastewater treatment plant, many of which have been addressed. The water treatment plant has had several serious breakdowns. The district has been awarded a $12,500 grant for an engineering study to determine what upgrades and repairs are needed at the water plant.