Bath will use a $4 million grant from the Department of Transportation to upgrade equipment used for water pollution control as part of the state’s efforts to help fund climate change mitigation at the local level.

The Harward drainage area, the largest part of the Bath sewage system, has overflowed for years when the city has seen a lot of rainfall, according to Public Works Director Lee Leiner, and the grant will be used to upgrade the pump system and the pipe that leads to the drainage area.

“Many portions of the storm drain system are connected to the sewers,” Leiner said. “When it’s raining, we have a lot of water going into the sewage system and sewage sometimes comes out onto the ground.”

Leiner said the overflow is not always seen by the public, but there are areas where it’s quite visible.

“We’re monitoring the flow of water to get a better sense of what we’re dealing with and how big to make the pipe,” said Leiner.

“It’s been a long time coming and we want to thank residents for their patience,” he added. “Having this grant is a real blessing.”


The city is looking to start construction in 2023.

Leiner also explained that as sea level rises in Bath, taking action on this issue becomes a bigger priority.

Bath City Manager Marc Meyers said the grant will be useful in the city’s efforts to improve its infrastructure against the rising Kennebec River. Meyers anticipates that over time, about $40 million in upgrades will be needed to the city’s wastewater system.

“Any time we can receive some support, that’s really helpful,” he said.

He said the city is “trying to make real strides when it comes to climate action and address things in our community that can be impacted by sea level rise.” This comes following the recent hiring of a new sustainability director, who is assessing the Bath’s vulnerability to climate change.

The funding is part of a part of $20 million grant that was given to cities and towns across Maine as part of the Mills administration’s goal to improve local resilience against climate concerns such as flooding, rising sea levels and storms.

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