Obstruction, flooding causing wastewater discharge in St. John River
MADAWASKA, Maine — An obstruction of ice in an overflow pipe Friday led to wastewater backing into a pumping station in Madawaska, flooding the structure and causing a discharge into the St. John River, according to the town’s official app.
Madawaska Pollution Control notified the Maine Department of Environmental Protection of the issue on March 27, according to a statement posted to Madawaska’s 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 is currently 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 post said.
Madawaska Pollution Control is currently working on the pumps and hope to have at least one repaired within the next 24 hours and Maine DEP Water staff are monitoring the situation’s progress.
The department said they will keep the public notified as the situation changes