HERMON, Maine — The two new wells serving the Danforth Plaza shopping center have received a clean bill of health after testing last week showed elevated levels of coliform bacteria, a town official confirmed.
Scott Perkins, the town’s director of public works and an economic development point man, said Wednesday that the plaza’s owner, Ellis Commercial Development, contacted the town as soon as it received the boil order notice on Friday from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
Perkins said none of the businesses that use water, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway, closed due to the bacteria but they did not use public water until the problem was rectified the following day.
The spokesman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees public drinking water in the state, did not respond to requests for additional information on Wednesday and Thursday.
Perkins said the problem was addressed by connecting a chlorination system to the two wells now serving the shopping plaza, which were drilled earlier this year on the Hermon High School property across Route 2 and that went online within the last two weeks.
The town used some of its economic development funds to help pay for the new wells as a way to support businesses in the plaza, which experienced problems with the hard water they were drawing from the original well they were using.
In 2013, the town considered pursuing a $5.7 million proposal to extend public water and sewer service into the village center.
Officials later pulled the plug on the plan after a survey of property owners within the project area showed that a majority of those who responded would not hook up to either water or sewer service if they were made available.
The water service expansion was aimed at solving the problem of hard water that has required homeowners and businesses to install expensive softening systems.
The owner of the local Dunkin’ Donuts franchise said during a public meeting in August 2013 that he had to install $20,000 water treatment systems twice since he set up shop along Route 2 a few years earlier.