Waste Water Treatment Plant
The Town of Wiscasset is served by a public sewer system that includes 14 miles of sewer line, 17 pump stations and an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant located on Cow Island (69 Water Street).
All of the gravity sewer lines in the system are eight-inch lines, with the exception of those in the downtown which are 14-inch lines. Some of the force mains are as small as four inches.
The sludge from the treatment plant is run through a belt filter press and is then loaded and trucked to a compost facility in Unity. Treated wastewater is discharged to the Sheepscot River. In 1992, the Town upgraded the treatment plant for a total cost of $4,100,000. The plant is currently licensed for a monthly average flow of 620,000 gallons per day. Monthly discharges are averaging about 180,000 gallons per day, or about 29% of capacity. The treatment plant employs three full-time people, including the superintendent and has an operating budget of about $373,000 that has been supported by user fees since 2001. Prior to 2001, plant operations were supported by taxes. New connections are charged an impact fee according to a formula based on estimated usage as well as a one-time connection fee of $100.
The overall condition of the waste water system is strong and far exceeds current demand, allowing adequate capacity for growth. The age of the system, however, does require current and ongoing investment in infrastructure upgrades. The Town recently expanded the system for the first time outside Wiscasset borders to the Town of Edgecomb. The expansion has increased the revenue stream and cost-sharing structure for future system upgrades, thus mitigating the financial burden on Wiscasset users.
Rick Gaeth is the Department Superintendent and may be reached at (207) 882-8222