Rain Backs Up Sewage System 

As the rain came down, the pumps at Hampden’s Water District filled up.”There’s just too much in the system. It can’t handle it,” said general manager, Cam Torrey.On Monday, more than two inches of water overflowed onto the District’s front lawn.”When the overflow facility across the street gets full it has no place to go, and it has to relieve pressure somewhere.”Which means that following any major rainstorm, a flood of raw sewage takes a new route. “It boils out on top of the ground and goes into the Souadabscook Stream, which feeds into the Penobscot River.”It’s a by-product of mother nature that’s worried Torrey for more than a decade. “Anytime you see raw sewage flowing out on top of the ground I think that’s a concern, and it should be a concern for anybody and everybody. It’s a health issue.”But with a sewage budget just shy of 600-thousand dollars, there’s only so much the town can do.”We’re working very hard at trying to improve the system with the amount of money we have,” said Chip Swan, the town’s Public Works director.Earlier this week, their sewage system was working double time to try and keep up with the weather.”Monday, we pumped 2.2 million gallons, Tuesday was 3.6 million gallons to give you an idea,” said Swan.As the main pumping station for the town, Swan says those levels create a problem.”There’s 27 miles of sewer line, and this is taking care of 20 miles. So, it’s putting a real big burden on these pumps.”When they do get backed up, the city has a holding tank that can store about a million gallons of water. However, when that fills up, the problem winds up down stream.