Newsletter - February 2022
What's Happening in Sewer
We are in hopes that 2021 was a much better year for everyone! Although Covid-19 is still very much with us, it felt a little more “normal”. Ogunquit was certainly bustling!
***LOWERING YOUR SEWER BILLS***
Here are some tips on ways you can save
money on your sewer (and water) bills!
Good News on Billing Rates! We are pleased to announce that again this year, there will be no rate increase for the 2022 sewer bills!!!
Is it really worth buying a meter for outside watering? Absolutely! When you meter outside water, we won’t bill you for water that doesn’t go down into the sewer system. BIG savings on your sewer bill!!!
Why should I check the meter during the summer? We only give credit for what actually gets metered. If your meter breaks, you could end up with a sewer bill that is hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than normal! We recommend checking the meter every few weeks, just to be on the safe side!!!
A leaking toilet can’t affect my bill that much! Unfortunately, we have a several customers each year with very high sewer bills from leaking toilets or fixtures. These should be taken care of right away! A minimum sewer bill of $325.00 could end up at $1,200.00 or more!
WAYS TO SAVE MONEY…In short…Inspect fixtures for leaks or drips. Replace toilet flapper yearly or buy adjustable flapper. Install low-flow toilets & shower heads. Add aerators to faucets. Take shorter showers (good luck with teenagers!). Use your dishwasher vs. hand washing dishes. Meter your outside watering!!! Go to our website for water saving tips!
Do you know the condition of your service line?
Every home & business owner is responsible for the service line from the building connection to the district’s main sewer line.
Older clay and cast-iron lines are subject to cracks and tree root intrusion (see below). This could cause costly recurring plug ups and disruptions to your service. If your private line is more than 40 years old, you may want to consider having it video inspected by a plumber, to avoid costly sewer backups.
New PVC line (below) are resistant to root intrusion, better flow characteristic and reduces environmental impacts.
Sewer, Water & the Town of Ogunquit
We would like to remind everyone that Ogunquit Sewer District, the Town of Ogunquit & KKWWD (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells Water District) are three, completely separate entities!
• Treatment Plant Adaptation for Sea Level Rise - The WWTF has completed phase I of our upgrade, with renovation of offices, lab, electrical systems, improved SCADA system and pump replacement, on schedule and on budget. Electrical equipment, controls and sophisticated computer systems were moved to higher ground, thus protecting the plant from storm surge and extreme weather events.
• Chemical Tanks Project – We purchased two large bulk chemical tanks in 2021, which should result in a 33% savings on our most expensive chemical, magnesium hydroxide. Currently, half of the chemical budget is spent on odor control.
• Future Planning for OSD - Maintaining and ensuring optimal performance at the sewer plant requires ongoing upgrades to equipment. OSD is now working on plans to implement the next phases of improvements, as outlined by consulting engineers at Wright-Pierce. The full report can be found on our website. Rate increases will more than likely be necessary in the near future.
• Charter Revision – The OSD Trustees and staff have been working to amend the Charter. We will be increasing the borrowing debt limit from $7,000,000 to $12,000,000, to position OSD to continue with plant & infrastructure upgrades. The majority of the other Charter revisions were needed to bring OSD into compliance with state statute changes.
• Water Testing in Ogunquit River & Estuaries - Water quality in our rivers and the estuary remains a concern for Ogunquit. As a separate sewer system, the OSD does not treat stormwater that travels over land or through the drainage system in town. However, OSD does monitor water quality carefully for potential infiltration or leaks. In addition, with our lab and testing expertise, we have been assisting town efforts to identify the nature and sources of non-point source pollution due to stormwater runoff.
• COVID-19 – In cooperation with the Town of Ogunquit & University of New Hampshire, the district has been performing weekly testing of influent for Covid-19 since November 2020. The results of the testing are available on the Town of Ogunquit’s website under “DOCUMENTS”.
• 2022 Sewer Line Replacements - In the fall of 2022, we are scheduled to replace 8 manholes and 1,350 feet of 6” cast iron pipe from the 1940’s, with 8” PVC pipe on Israel Head Road & Stearns Road.
To Flush or Not to Flush! To help keep the sewer systems functioning properly, the following products should not be flushed:
Flushable wipes (are flushable), baby wipes or cleaning wipes (responsible for 93% of blockages)
Tampons and sanitary products
Cotton balls and swabs
Prescription drugs & over-the-counter medicines
Unlike toilet paper, these products do not break down and are likely to clog the plumbing in your house, the lateral sewer line from your house to the sewer main, your septic system, as well as the public sewer lines & pumps.
When these products make their way into the public sewer system they clump together, causing very large obstructions in the sewer lines. They get tangled in pump stations
requiring repair of equipment and causing backups and discharges of raw sewage into basements of homes and businesses, and into waters of the state.
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GIS Map to locate sewer lines & manholes: We have our very own GIS map on our website, showing sewer mains, lines & manholes! Very useful information! Click on “Sewer System Map” at the top right corner of our website.
Please keep in mind that the sewer line locations shown on the map are for representation purposes only. Please call to verify exact locations/dimensions.
Our regular office hours are: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 2 pm. Please call before visiting, as we have only one staff member in the office, who may be out or unavailable at that time.
For assistance or questions, please call Debbie at
207-646-2028 or email: Debbie@ogunquitsewerdistrict.org.
Be well and best wishes for a great year! Thank you!
Board of Trustees
William Sawyer ~ Helen Horn ~ Priscilla Botsford
Superintendent - Philip Pickering
Office Manager - Deborah Pickering