Credit: Bangor Daily News

FORT KENT, Maine — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued a public safety announcement on Tuesday morning cautioning people to avoid all contact with the Fish River and the St. John River in northern Maine east of Fort Kent.

An early morning thunderstorm caused damage to the Fort Kent wastewater pump station, forcing the town to temporarily divert wastewater into the Fish River, according to DEP Regional Director Nick Archer.

“The storm caused damage to the main pump station and the pump station is down and unable to pump the water to the treatment facility,” Archer said.

So sewage and runoff that can’t be treated for the time being is going into the Fish River, which empties into the St. John River. The DEP is warning people not to drink from the rivers, eat vegetation caught or picked near the rivers, or to swim or have physical contact with water from either river.

The warning is in effect for anyone living along the river east of Fort Kent, including through Madawaska and Van Buren.

The Bangor Daily News is pleased to feature content from our sister website, Fiddlehead Focus. To read the rest of “Storm knocks out wastewater pump at Fort Kent, prompts warning about avoiding rivers,” an article by Fiddlehead Focus staff writer Jessica Potila, please follow this link to the Fiddlehead Focus online.

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