Funds sought for Vergennes sewer study

VERGENNES — Vergennes could get some financial help in studying how to upgrade its Macdonough Drive pump station, City Manager Mel Hawley told the Vergennes City Council on Oct. 24.
Despite a few recent upgrades, that station has still overflowed untreated wastewater close to a dozen times in the past two years, almost always after heavy rains cause stormwater infiltration into the city’s aging sewer collection system.
Hawley, who is in continuing talks with the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) over the pollution problem, hopes an engineering study can help identify a way to increase the pump station’s capacity, particularly in dealing with what he and sewer treatment plant operators call “rags” that clog pumps — primarily sanitary and baby wipes that do not decompose well after being flushed.
Hawley said ANR officials encouraged him to apply for a program that could pay for half the cost of such a study.
“They are very open” to supporting a city application if it is part of a larger plan to deal with the city’s longstanding overflow issues, Hawley said. 

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