Aerial view of the Warren, Maine lagoon system. Photo courtesy of Woodard and Curran.

Lagoon Systems In Maine 

Systems In Maine

An Informational Resource for
Operators of Lagoon Systems

Mars Hill Wastewater Lagoon System - Mars Hill  Maine. Photo Courtesy of Wright-Pierce Engineers.
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Fort Kent

Water and Wastewater Department

Fort Kent Maine


   The majority of the wastewater collection, pumping and treatment facilities within the Town of Fort Kent were originally constructed in the late 1960's, and within the flood plain of the St. John and Fish Rivers. Portions of the sewer system were periodically subject to the effects of high groundwater and spring runoff or rainfall. An upgrade of the facility in 1988 substantially improved treatment but did not address all of the issues.

     The Fort Kent Utility District retained an engineering firm to evaluate various alternatives and to prepare the design for the rehabilitation of the existing wastewater collection and pumping systems and new wastewater treatment facility.

    The first phase of the project was to separate the sewer and stormwater systems within the Riverside Park area. This was performed in order to reduce the volume of groundwater and stormwater (infiltration and inflow) entering the collection system and to eliminate untreated overflows to the Fish River.

    The second phase involved the upgrade of six existing wastewater pumping stations to reduce the number of wastewater bypasses to the two rivers. This included new pumps, controls, emergency standby power provisions and a radio telemetry alarm system. This phase also included the replacement of force mains on two pump stations and the installation of tide valves on the pump station overflows, effectively eliminating the risk of flood waters entering the pump station.

     Phase three consisted of a new main pump station; an 11,100 linear foot 12-inch diameter force main; a three cell aerated facultative lagoon treatment system; sludge drying beds; disinfection facilities; an operations building; a monitoring station located at Northland Frozen Foods; and a 5,900 linear foot 12- inch diameter outfall pipe to the St. John River. The main pump station was also provided with preliminary treatment facilities consisting of a mechanical bar screen and a grit removal system.

     The new wastewater treatment facility is designed to treat an average daily flow of 0.43 mgd with peak flows of 1.1 mgd. The three cell aerated facultative lagoons have a total capacity of 36 million gallons. Aeration is provided to the lagoons via four blowers, an air distribution piping system and 87 fine bubble tubular membrane diffuser assemblies. From the lagoons, treated wastewater flows to the chlorine contact tank where, on a seasonal basis, sodium hypochlorite is added to disinfect the effluent. The disinfected wastewater flows through the new gravity outfall pipe to the St. John River.

Fort Kent
    The upgrade of the wastewater treatment facilities was needed in order to meet state and federal discharge requirements and most importantly, to protect the St. John and Fish Rivers from contamination. The facility monitors the total wasteload from the food processing facility. This information is instantaneously transmitted back to the operations building via the radio telemetry system.

     The final phase of the upgrade consisted of replacing and repairing sewers and service lines, and rehabilitating manholes throughout the District's collection system. This phase has significantly reduced the volume of infiltration and inflow within the sewer system while addressing the structurally deficient areas.

      The total cost of all of the wastewater treatment facilities improvements including construction, land acquisition, administration and technical services was approximately $8.5 million. Approximately 75% of the project was funded by state and federal grants through the Department of Environmental Protection, Rural Economic and Community Development (RECD), the Department of Economic and Community Development, as well as Northland Frozen Foods. Long-term financing of the District's share of the project cost has been provided in the form of a loan from RECD.

Lagoon Specifications


Lagoons No.1 No.2 No. 3
Volume 18 MG 9.0 MG 9.0 MG
Lagoon Dimensions 560' x 340' x 18' 408' x 265' x 17' 408' x 265' x 17'
Lagoon Acreage 4.37 acres 2.48 acres 2.48 acres
Aeration Fine Bubble Fine Bubble Fine Bubble
Number of Aerators 68 14 5

Total lagoon acreage is 9.3 or 406,414 square feet. Facility has (4) 30 horsepower Roots blowers, 2 of which are on VFD's. Aeration System manufacturer is Environmental Dynamics, Inc. and diffuser model is the FlexAir.


System Information

Design Flow 0.43 MGD
Actual Flow 0.30 MGD
Discharge To St. John River
Year Built 1997
Design Engineers Wright-Pierce
Septage Received No
Collector System 16 miles of gravity, 250 manholes , 7 pump stations
Staff Size 4.5 Full Time
Number of Users 1,270 Services
Billing Software Gemini
Comments Plant has reedbeds (2) for sludge treatment. The beds are 150' x 45' in size.



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Fort Kent

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