BAR HARBOR — A sewerage pumpout facility for recreational boats will be installed at the town pier, following award of a $47,000 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Town councilors applied for the grant in 2012 at the request of DEP officials. According to terms reached with the state, the town will pay a 10-percent match of $4,700. The money likely will be taken from one of the capital improvement accounts for harbor improvements.
Piping for the system, including electrical work, was completed during a recent rebuild of the town pier railings and sidewalks.
The DEP’s Pam Parker in 2011 appeared before town councilors to ask them to consider taking advantage of the state’s grant program for boat pumpout facilities. A number of towns on the coast were utilizing the program, she said. Even while Bar Harbor was not required to have a pumpout under current regulations due to its relatively small size, allowing boat owners a place to discharge sewage would function as a benefit to the public and the health of Frenchman Bay, she said.
“This is providing a public service for an environmental effort,” Parker told councilors.
State law prohibits all ships from discharging untreated sewage in state waters, while local rules prevent discharge of sewage, treated water or grey water while in anchorage or at the town pier. There have been very few issues of noncompliance over the years.
In an effort to keep problems with the new pump out station to a minimum, operations will be run by wastewater department workers, public works director Chip Reeves said this week. The pump will not be self-serve.
According to the terms of the agreement with the DEP, the town may not charge more than $5 per pump out. The station may be used for boat sewage only. No bilge or oily waste will be accepted.
The town will be reimbursed for future maintenance costs of the facility, Reeves said.