BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control has notified the owner of the Cap’n Fish’s Waterfront Inn that an open sewage container on the property must be replaced by a compliant sewage system before the establishment’s license to do business will be renewed.
Town officials notified the state that four pipes were discharging sewage into an open 55-gallon drum beneath the dock, according to a Jan. 15 letter from the CDC to John Fish, owner of the downtown inn. The complaint noted the open top of the drum was positioned so sewage could escape at a high tide.
“It is my understanding that the platform was about 4 feet above the high tide,” Karl Wilkins, acting spokesman for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, said Wednesday. Wilkins said there was no evidence there had been any direct discharge into the ocean and said the town and the CDC are “handling it appropriately.”
Fish did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
In the letter, Eric Wightman, compliance and enforcement specialist for the CDC’s Health Inspection Program of the Division of Environmental Health, told Fish the noncompliant pump station was a violation of the eating and lodging license issued in March 2014 and could jeopardize a renewal of that license.
The letter referred to an earlier letter sent Jan. 6 to Fish from Boothbay Harbor Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith and Chris Higgins, superintendent of the Boothbay Harbor Sewer District, notifying Fish he must replace the noncompliant pump station.
Neither Smith nor Higgins returned calls Wednesday.
John Martins, public health information officer for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said Fish must have a master plumber determine what size pump and pump station would be appropriate. That pump and station must be permitted, inspected and installed, Martins said.
The owners must the contact the Health Inspection Program, as well as a local plumbing inspector for re-inspection, he said.