St. John Valley

St. John River pump station returns to normal operation

This story has been updated.

MADAWASKA, Maine — The main pump station at the St. John River was restored to normal operation on Saturday evening, according to a release issued by the Madawaska Pollution Control Department via the town app.

On Friday, an obstruction of ice in an overflow pipe Friday led to wastewater backing into the station, flooding the structure and causing a discharge into the St. John River, the department said on Saturday morning.

Madawaska Pollution Control notified the Maine Department of Environmental Protection of the issue on March 27, according to a statement posted to the town app.

“Flow rate is currently reported to be at about 1,300 gallons/minute. The discharge point is just downstream of the Madawaska boat launch on the St. John and located near where the electric transmission lines cross the river,” the post stated.

A combined sewer overflow was activated at approximately 7 p.m. on March 26, which led to water ultimately backing into the main pumping station and flooding it. As of 8 a.m. on March 27, the two main influent pumps were damaged and failed. As a result, Madawaska Pollution Control was at that time unable to pump any of the town’s wastewater to the treatment plant.

“There are no public drinking water intakes downstream on the American side of the river so public exposure is minimal. Environmental Canada and Climate Change New Brunswick has also been notified,” the initial post said. 

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