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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Mapleton Wastewater Treatment Facility
Mapleton, Maine

Mapleton Sewer District Background

The Mapleton Sewer District
was formed in 1965 and operates about 12,000 linear feet of collector sewers. The District serves 280 customers which represents about 700 people. The original facility was constructed as an activated sludge plant in 1973. Effluent discharge was to the North Branch of the Presque Isle Stream.

In 1993 the Maine Department of Environmental Protection notified the Mapleton Sewer District it needed to address the following issues:


  • Excess Sewer System Infiltration and Inflow to reduce peak flows

  • Deteriorated condition of treatment plant and a lack of unit process redundancy that had contributed to effluent violations.

  • Remove outfall from stream due to effluent violations in stream and due to the use of the Presque Isle Stream as a public water supply for Presque Isle.

The District worked with regulatory and funding agencies from 1993 to 2001 to define a cost effective solution and to assemble a funding package for a new treatment facility.


There were three facility planning studies conducted between 1993 and 1997. Thirty three different collection, treatment, and discharge options were evaluated. Of those options the District was asked to consider only seasonal discharge options or non-discharging options. The District was also asked to consider options with a $3,000,000 target budget. Another requirement was that the District only consider those options that could process seasonal infiltration and inflow to avoid $1,000,000 in sewer remediation costs.

In 1997 the facilities plan update focused on 2 final options:

  • Upgrade existing treatment plant with seasonal storage lagoon for $3,100,000

  • Construct new facultative lagoon with non-discharging land application effluent disposal using summer spray irrigation and winter snow storage for $4,200,000.

The final consensus was to invest in the more costly non-discharging lagoon option in order to permanently eliminate stream discharge.


Project's Funding Package

The funding package was assembled between 1997 and 2001. The final project cost in 2001 dollars was $4,600,000. The 40-year Rural Development Loan was recently refinanced with the Maine Municipal Bond Bank for 20 years with a $40,000 savings in interest costs. The final cost to Mapleton Sewer District customers was increase of $75.00 per year for the completely new facility.

Project Funding Sources

DEP Grant


CDBG Grants (3)


Rural Development Grant


Rural Development Loan





Construction began in 2002 and was completed in 2004.


Basis of Design for New Facility

Average Daily Flow

70,000 GPD

Normal Peak Hourly Flow

160,000 GPD

Spring Peak Hourly Flow

380,000 GPD

Peak Wet Weather Hourly Flow

650,000 GPD

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

100 LBS / Day

Total Suspended Solids

100 LBS / Day


Benefits of the Lagoon Facility

The benefits of the Mapleton Wastewater Treatment Facility included excellent effluent quality obtained in the facultative lagoon. By using the land application process the facility met its goal of becoming a non discharging facility. The use of snowmaking with the spray irrigation process allowed year round operations with smaller storage lagoon facility.


Lagoon Specifications

Lagoons Treatment Lagoon Storage Lagoon
Type Biological Facultative Passive Storage Lagoon
Construction Earthen Clay Lined 60 mil HDPE Synthetic Liner
Surface Area 3.5 Acres 4.5 Acres
Depth - Total 11 feet 10 feet
       Treatment Zone 6 Feet N/A
       Sludge Zone 2 Feet N/A
       Free Board 3 Feet 3 Feet
Volume 5.0 MG 14.5 MG
Lagoon Dimensions (Top) 600' x 250' 620' x 230'
Aeration None None


Comments: Side slopes on both lagoons are 3 /1 with 12" wide top berm.



System Information

anson maine

Design Flow 0.070 MGD
Actual Flow 4.0 MGD
Discharge To Land Application
Year Built 1973 as Activated Sludge Upgrade in 2004 as Lagoon System
Design Engineers Upgrade - Olver Associates
Septage Received No
Collector System 15 miles gravity sewer, 5 pump stations
Staff Size 1 Full Time
Number of Users 270 services
Billing Software  

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