Jul 27, 2018

Partially Treated Sewage Spills Into Casco Bay

Heavy rains contributed to a treatment tank overflow & weekend recreational event is in jeopardy

A wastewater treatment tank overflow into the Casco Bay has put the Peaks to Portland Swim in jeopardy following East End Beach closure.
A lighthouse protrudes from a rocky bluff on the coast of Portland, Maine.

According to a report from the Press Herald, “an estimated 1 million gal of partially treated sewage spilled out of Portlands’ [Maine] wastewater treatment plant and into Casco Bay Thursday morning [July 26].” A section of the Easter Prom Trail was washed out and the East End Beatch was closed as a result.

Wastewater from the treatment tank overflowed and poured into the bay west of the beach and boat launch, the Press Herald reported. It had already gone through part of the treatment process so solids had been removed, and this was the first overflow of this nature at the plant. The issue was reported to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and an inspector visited the site Thursday.

“PWD will submit a full written report on the incident within five days and DEP will determine what actions may be appropriate based on the facts surrounding this event,” the department said in a statement.

Clements said heavy rains that fell on Portland overnight contributed to the spill. The city’s sewer system fills with stormwater during heavy rain events, adding to the typical 20 million gallons flow into the plant each day.

Via Press Herald

Tests are being conducted on the water at the East End Beach as this weekend is the Peaks to Porland Swim, which has been a tradition and staple outdoors event for the area. Organizers of the event are optimistic that the tests will show there is no danger to swimmers should they still partake in the event, an article from the Press Herald notes.

For more information on the spill and its effects, read the full news reports from the Press Herald linked below:

1 million-gallon sewage spill closes Portland's East End beach and trail

Sewage spill casts doubt on Peaks to Portland Swim, a summer staple