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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Great Salt Bay Sanitary District


Great Salt Bay Sanitary District
Protecting our water resources is an important task that affects all of us. The Damariscotta River, located in mid-coastal Maine, drains Damariscotta Lake and Great Salt Bay. Damariscotta Lake is renowned for its eagles' nest, while Great Salt Bay is one of the state's most productive shellfish, alewife, striped bass and smelt fisheries. In 1988, working closely with State and Federal agencies, the Great Salt Say Sanitary District completed the construction of new wastewater collection and treatment facilities to serve the communities of Damariscotta and Newcastle and to restore and preserve the water quality and valuable fisheries of the Great Salt Bay area.

    Prior to the construction of the new wastewater collection and treatment facilities, untreated sewage from the Towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle flowed to the river, causing closure of the highly-productive clam flats. As a result of the project, the harvesting closure line will likely be relocated, thus allowing a larger clam harvest.

    The Damariscotta-Newcastle collection facilities consist of 3.8 miles of gravity sewers, three submersible pump stations, a cast-in-place dry-pit pump station and 1.2 miles of force main. Due to the concerns of residents, the Damariscotta- Newcastle treatment facility was located away from the waterfront in a wooded area located more than a half mile from the nearest residence. The treatment facility consists of septage pretreatment, grit removal and biological treatment within three synthetically-lined diffused aeration lagoons which encompass six acres and total 10.5 million gallons. The treated wastewater is disinfected with chlorine, dechlorinated with sulfur dioxide, reaerated and discharged via an effluent/recirculation pump station through a 1.2 mile effluent sewer and an outfall located adjacent to the municipal parking lot boat launch. The outfall location was selected for its cost-effectiveness and minimal impact to anadromous fish runs. This facility is the first municipal wastewater treatment plant in Maine to utilize chlorination-dechlorination as a means of controlling the discharge of chlorinated effluent to receiving waters. The system represents another example of Wright-Pierce's continual efforts to provide cost-effective innovative solutions to the increasingly complex problems of wastewater treatment.


Design Flow: .268 MGD
Total Lagoon Volume: 10.5 MG
Design Detention Time: 32.6 Days
Construction Cost 4.87 Million
Funding: EPA/DEP: 95.7% 
Local: 4.25%


Lagoon Specifications


Lagoons No.1 No.2 No. 3
Volume 4.0 MG 2.0 MG 2.0 MG
Aeration Fine Bubble Fine Bubble Fine Bubble

Comments: Facility has (4) 25 horsepower blowers. One unit is 
operated inthe winter while two are operated during the 
summer months.


System Information


Design Flow 0.268 MGD
Actual Flow 0.130 MGD
Discharge To Damariscotta River
Year Built 1987
Design Engineers Wright-Pierce
Septage Received No, has septage receiving station
Collector System 9 miles of gravity, 4 submersible type pump stations that feed to one large wetwell/drywell pump station which then pumps to the plant.
Staff Size Five Full Time
Number of Users 1,000 Services
Comments Effluent is pumped from the plant 1 1/2 miles to the river.

Flow Schematic

Great Salt Bay



Brescia Construction, Inc. Caribou, Maine
Harry C. Crooker & Sons, Inc. Brunswick, Maine



Back to Lagoons in Maine


Great Salt Bay Sanitary District


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