The Fish River flows into the St. John River just east of the International Bridge in Fort Kent on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Credit: Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times

FORT KENT, Maine — Operators of the town’s water and sewage treatment facility have replaced the broken pump that forced them to temporarily divert wastewater into the Fish River on Tuesday.

But a Maine Department of Environmental Protection advisory cautioning people to avoid contact with the contaminated water of the Fish River, and the St. John River into which it feeds remains in effect for the time being.

The DEP issued the advisory Tuesday morning after the wastewater pump broke down following a torrential rainstorm in the area, forcing the wastewater diversion.

The wastewater was pretreated with chlorine at the town’s primary pump station where solid material was removed from the sewage before the wastewater was released into the river, according to Fort Kent Water and Wastewater Department Director Mark Soucy.

The town was operating an auxiliary pump at the time because their primary pump was damaged during flooding in the town this past April, Soucy said Wednesday. The primary pump was downstate being repaired and expected to be delivered to Fort Kent next week, he said.

The back up pump broke down Tuesday following a storm that poured 1.6 inches of rain over the area in less than an hour, Soucy said. The town began pumping the chlorinated sewage water into the river at 11 a.m.

The Bangor Daily News is pleased to feature content from our sister website, Fiddlehead Focus. To read the rest of “Fort Kent wastewater pump replaced, but river advisory remains in effect for now,” an article by Fiddlehead Focus staff writer Jessica Potila, please follow this link to the Fiddlehead Focus online.

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