BREWER — The community will celebrate the conclusion of $7 million upgrade to its Water Pollution Control Facility with an open house Friday at 37 Oak St.
The upgrade, which began in 1992 and was conducted in three phases, represents the first major improvements at the facility since it started up in 1975.
The improvements, which were completed in March, were needed to increase treatment capacity, replace worn-out equipment, correct original plant process deficiencies, and improve efficiency and reliability.
Friday’s celebration will feature tours throughout the day, as well as a reception at noon and a program highlighting the city’s environmental accomplishments at 1 p.m.
U.S. Rep. John Baldacci and Bureau Director Martha Kirkpatrick of the Department of Environmental Protection will be among the city’s guests.
According to Superintendent Kenneth Locke, the upgrade was completed with a a 20-year, low-interest loan from a revolving loan fund administered jointly by the Maine Municipal Bond Bank and the DEP.
Brewer sewer users, who now pay $3.40 per 100 cubic feet of waste water, likely will see rate increases as the city begins to repay the loan and continues work to remove storm water from the sewage stream.
In the first phase, completed in 1993 at a cost of $1 million, worn equipment was replaced and the facility’s sludge handling capabilities were improved.
In the second phase, the city installed a device called a selector, which resulted in increased capacity and improved overall treatment. This portion of the upgrade was completed in 1994 at a cost of $2.5 million.
The third and final phase, which cost $3.5 million, increased the pumping capacity of the city’s three main pump stations and included the installation of a storm-water bypass system.