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Monday, December 23, 2013 We Should Pay Our Fine and Move On.

On May 25th 2012 when Lisbon employees were cleaning the Huston Street sewer line they observed a high level of wastewater backed up in a manhole. Upon investigation they determined that a blockage in the Houston Street cross-country sewer was causing untreated wastewater to overflow from a manhole on the cross-country sewer line and discharge to an adjacent small brook that flows to the Androscoggin River. This spill was in violation of Maine’s Water Pollution Control laws, 38 M.R.S.A. ss413(1).

Lisbon also is in violation of Special Condition H of the wastewater treatment permit because they don't have an O&M plan (operation and maintenance) that includes a systematic approach for proper operation and maintenance of the collection system.

On Nov. 5, 2012 another spill occurred  at the  route 196 pump station of approximately 550,000 gallons of untreated waste water. This spill ended up in the Sabattus River.  This may have been prevented if the alarms were working properly.

On Feb 25th 2013 the Enforcement section or the Bureau of land and water quality sent an updated proposed agreement to Lisbon’s Manager Eldridge that  contained a penalty payment of $22,307. 

According to the documentation I have seen there is little doubt that both of these spills occurred and they were in clear violation of our waste water license.

As of last week Lisbon hasn’t paid this fine or as far as I know even spoken with the Enforcement Division of the Bureau of Land and Water Quality. 

Ignoring this problem will only make matters worse. If this isn’t taken care of in a timely fashion we will probably end up in court with the State and we all know how much that will cost Lisbon.  Is it really worth spending Thousands of dollars in court costs to try to save a few dollars.

I think we should fix the problems with the wastewater system, pay our fine and call this a learning experience.

Documentation for this article: Click Here

Anyone in Huston Park with information on this sewage spill is invited to share that information with the public. Our email address is

Joe Hill

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