A Victory for Clean Water

Posted on Nov 20, 2011

The Portland City Council voted for a healthy Casco Bay when it opted to speed up the cleanup of millions of gallons of polluted water that regularly overflow into the Bay. Combined sewer overflows release a mix of raw sewage, industrial discharges, and stormwater when it rains.

More than 240 Friends of the Bay signed our petition to the City Council calling for a faster timeline for fixing the problem. Staff, members, and supporters of Friends of Casco Bay turned out in force on June 20th, 2011, to urge the Council to step up the pace of a project that is many Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell years behind schedule.

“The Council listened,” “Friends of Casco Bay spends said Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne. “With their vote they said, ‘We’re committed to stop the discharge of raw sewage into Casco Bay.’” Starting in 2013, the City will undertake the third phase of its work, which includes replacing combined sewer overflows with separate lines for sewage and stormwater, underground storage conduits to hold excess water during heavy rains, and rain gardens and other ecological landscaping techniques to slow runoff. It now projects to finish this work in 15 more years, that is, 2028.