letter to the editor

‘It takes a village’

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 4:30pm

Dear Editor:

I'd like to thank the Boothbay Register for its coverage of the West Harbor Pond siphon replacement project over the last few years and to clarify a few points in the most recent Dec. 27 article.

In 2012, when it became apparent that the 1880 siphon wasn't functioning properly, causing problems with the water levels and water quality in the Pond, the WHPWA begin exploring options to repair or replace the broken siphon. A 2017 Maine Coastal Communities grant allowed the WHPWA to hire Dirigo Engineering to produce plans for a replacement siphon. The $115,000 estimated cost seemed daunting until two local entities stepped forward: the Boothbay Region Water District offered to donate excess 6” pipe and its labor and expertise, and Pat Farrin, who had shown interest in the project from the beginning, offered to discount his costs to install the replacement siphon. Their contributions allowed us to keep the project local and to complete it more quickly at a much lower cost. Last summer, the WHPWA had a successful fundraising drive and all necessary funds were raised with local contributions in excess of the $53,000 revised estimate for the project.

Work began in early December. Through bitterly cold conditions Pat Farrin and his crew (Kipp Farrin, Mike Doyen, Josh Cook and Todd Hyson) and Dale Harmon and the BRWD crew (Taylor Timberlake, Shawn Simmons, Trevor Morin and Weston Alley) tackled the job. They fused pipe, prepared the site, pulled the pipe into place, and with the help of Kent Berry and his lobster boat, attached the many 300 pound weights needed to keep the pipe in place on the bottom of West Harbor. On Dec. 13, the new manhole cylinder containing the siphon controls was set in place by Robbie Campbell, and the outlet pipe attached to it. The final steps will be to set in place and attach the intake pipe that will begin drawing the deoxygenated salt water from the lower depths of the pond.

On behalf of the WHPWA, I'd like to thank everyone involved in the project. "It takes a village..." has never been more true.

Photographs and more information about the siphon replacement are available at westharborpond.org and facebook.com/groups/WestHarborPond/.

Leslie Volpe


West Harbor Pond Watershed Association