Sewer overflow tank will assist in continuing to clean up river water in Bangor

The Davis Brook Combined Sewer Overflow Project will aim to fix sewage overflow problems.
Davis Brook Combined Overflow Sewer Tank Project
Davis Brook Combined Overflow Sewer Tank Project(WABI)
Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:05 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - One of the biggest projects the city of Bangor has ever undertaken is happening on the waterfront.

The goal is to improve river water quality.

Wastewater flowing down Kenduskeag Stream and the Penobscot River heads straight for the wastewater treatment plant in Bangor.

When heavy rain and snow cause water overages, the plant can’t process all of the wastewater.

That discharged water flows back into the bodies of water causing pollution.

“Our goal is to continue to make that river cleaner than it’s ever been. It’s much cleaner than it’s been since the 70s at this point,” said Amanda Smith, Director of Water Quality for the City of Bangor.

The Davis Brook Combined Sewer Overflow Project will aim to fix those overflow problems.

“We’re building this tank in order to help solve the problem of combined sewer overflows. The city’s sewer system dating back to the mid 1800s was designed to carry storm water along with the sanitary sewer, and the treatment plant that we have can handle up to 43 million gallons per day to treat that raw sewage before it goes into the river,” added Smith.

The 3.8 million gallon underground tank will be about the size of a football field, and when the project’s completed, it will be the largest of its kind in the state.

“At this point, we’ve reduced the volume of combined sewer overflows by 80% since the early 90s. This is going to help us really tackle that last stretch of evading those combined sewer overflows,” said Smith.

The tank will store overflow sewage water until the wastewater treatment plant can process it.

When that happens, the water will be pumped out of the new tank back into the main sewer system before going to the plant.

“That tank is going to be beneficial to not just the users of the sewer system in the city of Bangor, but anyone who enjoys the Penobscot Rivers or Kenduskeag Rivers,” added Smith.

Officials working on the project say they’re right on schedule for the initial two year completion prediction.

“I think it’s probably gone about as well as we’d hoped, if not even better to date anyway,” said Tim Smith, Resident Engineer for the City.

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