St. John Valley

Frenchville sewer project will move forward with grant money

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A wastewater treatment facility that serves two St. John Valley towns will receive some much needed repairs thanks to a $758,000 Northern Border Regional Commission grant. 

“To say that we are pleased is kind of an understatement,” Frenchville town manager David D. Cyr said. “This takes a lot of the pressure off.”

The Frenchville wastewater treatment facility, built in the early 1990s, has served that town and neighboring St. Agatha since 2013 when the municipalities entered into a cost savings agreement to share waste disposal services. 

The facility is in dire need of upgrades and repairs to parts of its existing pump station, to the tune of more than $1.2 million. 

Frenchville secured a $445,000 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to offset costs, but the $758,000 balance was a burden for the small towns sharing the facility.

Surface discharge — sewage which sits on top of the ground — of untreated sewage due to an overflow in the system revealed a need for a costly project to replace a section of sewer force main piping.

The current piping is 4 inches in diameter, and the new piping will be 6 inches in diameter to better accommodate wastewater flows.

Cyr said the next step will be to finalize the project plans. He expects the project to go to bid this winter with construction aimed for next spring. 

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