The St. John Valley is going green; with a new project that’s combining the waste water facilities of 2 different communities. A “Valve Turning Ceremony” was held in St. Agatha to celebrate the initiative that’s been in the works for over 3 years.
Michael Kuhns of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said, ”They just started the construction last summer, and so here we are at the day at the end of the race celebrating a real victory here.”
That victory is the integration of waste water systems in Frenchville and St. Agatha; a $3.5 million project that was made possible by funding from agencies like the Maine DEP and USDA Rural Development.
The Town Manager of St. Agatha Christy Sirois said, ”This project is going to help preserve long lake we’re going to eliminate one of the discharges from the St. John Valley and the two communities will be able to better use their resources.”
The project brings together the two communities in a regional partnership with a single waste water facility, located in Frenchville where St. Agatha will send it’s waste water. It’s an initiative that’s environmentally friendly to Long Lake, and financially sustainable for both St. John Valley communities.
John True of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said, ”It will help them quite a bit in the long run on their finances, any time these facilities can regionalize it’s great for them, there’s less operation and less maintenance involved, it’s easier for them to afford things in the long run.”
Michael Kuhns of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said, ”The real achievement here is to get the two different municipalities to overcome a lot of obstacles, even though they are close neighbors there still were a lot of jurisdictional issues they had to overcome.”
And overcoming those obstacles will help to prevent a potential environmental problem: discharges to the St. John River and Long Lake which is a valuable salmon fishery in the St. John Valley.
A portion of the funds awarded to St. Agatha from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will be used to demolish the retired treatment facility in St. Agatha and turn it into a “green” area next to Long Lake.