St. George River reopens after closure for reported sewage leak

By Beth A. Birmingham | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Knox County Lt. Reggie Walker, center, and Paul Pinkham, left, check in with full-time clammer Mike Colson to be sure he and brother Mark are informed of the St. George River closure Aug. 31.

Thomaston — Clammers along the entire St. George River went a day without reaping any benefits Aug.31, when the Thomaston Wastewater Treatment Plant reported a leak around noon.

After receiving a confirmation notice from the Department of Environmental Protection that the suspected pipe did not actually break, the Department of Marine Resources reopened the river Friday afternoon, Sept. 1.

According to Knox County Lt. Reggie Walker, the entire river, from Port Clyde through Cushing to Thomaston, was closed as a precautionary measure.

Walker, at Thomaston Public Landing, was one of several officers monitoring fishermen as they returned from their workday only to be told the news.

The DMR and Shellfish Warden Justin Hills were notified and phone calls were made to warn the fishermen, Walker said.

"We just try to make sure everybody knows," he said. "Usually, they just comply anyways."

Walker said sometimes the phone numbers have changed, so the officers have to wait until the river is emptied of fishermen to be certain everybody knows.

"We don't know that they [the clams] are contaminated, but we can't take that chance," he said.

Walker said he is not certain if the leak actually happened at the plant on Booker Street or somewhere in between, but the river is always shut down when there is a leak, just as when there is excessive rain.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

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