Town of Pittsfield, Maine

Pittsfield Tomorrow - A Vision For The Future

Water and Sewer

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Pittsfield Water Company began operation in 1891, with three dug wells drawing water from a sand and gravel aquifer along Hartland Avenue. These wells served the water system for many years, until they were contaminated by the Town’s sand/salt pile in 1974. Tow new wells were drilled on the East side of Peltoma Avenue, which ran dry in 1975 and 1978. In 1984 a new well was drilled with excellent yield on the west side of Peltoma Avenue. However, by 1987, the State ordered it closed due to high manganese concentrations and the Town had to resort to its prior wells, hoping for wet summers. This was not the case in 1992; the Town has been fortunate and had enough water through the dry seasons.

The newest wells, the Burnham Well Field, drilled in 1996, just across the Sebasticook River will provide high quality water and a plentiful source for several decades. The water from the Burnham Well Field is pumped to the Detroit Water Plant, constructed in 1998 – 99 aerates the Raw water to sequester hardness and stabilize pH, then the water is treated with Sodium Hypochlorite for disinfection, Fluoride to promote dental health in children, with reduced effect in adults, and a blended Phosphate for corrosion control in the Distribution System. The two storage facilities, Grove Hill Standpipe, a 330,000 gallons tank, is used for storage and to satisfy pressure demand on the system in the North Main St. area from Sebasticook St. to Detroit Ave. and all the way to the Palmyra town line on the Madawaska Road. Phillips Corner Reservoir, on the Phillips corner road, is the major storage facility for the system. This is a 1,250,000 gallon storage tank, that aids in pressure demand and fire flows to the rest of town. In having both tanks strategically placed where they are, we have adequate fire flows and pressure demand on the entire system.

Pittsfield Water Department produces approximately 405,000 gallons of safe drinking water and fire protection per day. This daily production is nearly one-hundred fifty million gallons (150,000,000) of water per year.

We own, operate and maintain 29.2 miles of water main, ranging from 2” thru 16” and have 1,254 service connections. In 2006, the following projects are scheduled to take place: Rehabilitation of the Detroit Water plant, consisting of rebuilding the existing Finish Water Pump, replacing the existing Variable Frequency Drive, adding a second Finish Water Pump and New VFD, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) control upgrade for efficiency. The chemical feed pumps will be replaced, and cross over valving and piping for using the Finish Water Pumps system jointly of individually.

The other major 2006 project is going to be a meter system upgrade to an Automated Reading System (AMR). This will allow us the ability to read meters more efficiently via a radio and laptop computer. This will drastically cut the labor intensive way we manually read meters now.

Pittsfield's sewer system was begun in the 1890's, with the original system map prepared in 1895. The 1970 Comprehensive Plan utilized this information as a base map and updated it, providing a very useful sewerage map with estimated main size. At that time, the Town's raw sewage was still entering the river directly and correcting this problem was the priority objective. The 1970 Plan included a recommended sewer improvement plan with two major interceptors designed to collect waste from each side of the river south to the railroad tracks, then from either side of a diagonal border crossing South Main Street just south of Peltoma Avenue. These interceptors would transport sanitary waste to two facultative treatment lagoons located at the end of McCarty Road. These recommendations were accomplished in 1978 and the bonds financing the project will be paid off by sewer users in the year 2005.

The majority of the current urban area is served by public sewer. A recent extension made possible with the support of Community Development Block Grant funds along outer North Main Street has opened that area up for more compact residential development.

The two 35-acre lagoons treat the effluent naturally, by aerobic bacterial action, so that by the time water reaches the outflow at the end of the second lagoon, it is clean enough to discharge into the adjoining peat of Big Meadow Bog, and secondarily into the Sebasticook River approximately 1000 feet away. There is a final effluent chamber at the outflow at which samples are taken. The chamber is set up to add chlorine prior to discharge if bacteria levels warrant it; this has been virtually unnecessary during the life of the system. This treatment system is the most cost-effective type available, with no mechanical operations and virtually no maintenance.

The system is sized and licensed to handle an average of 1.5 million gallons of wastewater per day. The current actual usage averages 600,000 gallons per day, so there is considerable room for growth. Up to 3000 gallons per day of septage waste may be added to the lagoons; this is more than sufficient to handle Pittsfield's septic system biosolids, making a land-spreading site unnecessary.

Another priority of the 1970 Plan and continuing to this day in Pittsfield and elsewhere is the separation of stormwater drainage from the sanitary sewer system. The Town's maximum sewage flows occur during and following storm events, indicating that there is a substantial amount of stormwater entering the treatment system. Sources include residential and commercial roof and cellar drains, municipal and private catch basins, and infiltration through cracks in sewer pipes.

The projects that have been identified in the Sewer Department's Capital Improvement Plan for the next 10 years are as follows:  Sewer main replacements on South Main St., replacement of the old cross country main from MCI to Pittsfield Gardens, the Franklin St. side of South Main St., from Franklin St. to Summer St., and from Summer St. to Peltoma Ave. These projects would address a lot of our problematic areas in the Collection system. We have had problems with roots and collapsed piping in these areas for many years.  Until these projects can be accomplished due to the lack of available of financing, contracted sewer maintenance and inspection work will  be a big part of our yearly maintenance program.  The Town put out to bid sewer contracted sewer maintenance for the first time last year with great results.  Substantial high pressure cleaning of the lines has been very successful.  To date, we have had very few sewer line problems in 2006 and 2007 as compared to the past years.  By inspecting, having contracted high pressure cleaning and repairing lines, we have been able to address some of these problems.  This approach has definitely been successful.  This will be our approach until we can obtain enough grants or financial assistance from the State and Federal governments for full replacement of mains.   The Town has been fortunate to have been awarded $3.4 million dollars in federal funding from the USDA for an upgrade of the sewer treatment plant and the replacement of several deteriorated sewer mains with brand new mains.  This work began in 2010 and will be completed in 2014 with the last projects during late Spring - Summer, 2014.

Copies of the Consumer Confidence Report for the last several years are included below for download.  Effective with the 2010 Consumer Confidence Report, the Town does not send the reports out in the mail to the consumers.  The 2010, 2011 and 2012 Consumer Confidence Reports were published in the newspaper. Copies are available at the Town Office in addition to being available below for review.  The latest copy of the Consumer Confidence Report will be posted on the Town's home page under documents.

Contact information:

Water quality, concerns, general questions, testing requirements and problems with water, wastewater, distribution system or collection system.

Scott Noble - Assistant Superintendent
Office hours are 7:00 - 3:30  Monday - Friday

Phone – 487-5203
Fax – 487-4434

Billing inquiries – Pittsfield Town Office
Office hours are 8:00 - 5:00   Monday - Friday

Phone - 487-3136
Fax – 487-4434

For after hours emergencies, please call 487-3101

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