DEXTER, Maine — The Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District is working with the Dexter Lakes Association to improve the quality of Lake Wassookeag by eliminating runoff from the adjoining school property.
The district has applied for a $25,000 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to do a stormwater management upgrade at Dexter Regional High School.
“We haven’t done any engineering designs, but basically we’re looking at ways to better capture the stormwater,” district manager Chris Brewer said Monday. As it is now, soil and other sediments from the school property are getting into the lake and affecting its quality, he said.
If the grant is awarded, Brewer said, the district plans to install some type of system that would allow the soil and sediment to settle out before the water drains into the lake. That system likely would be the creation of a retention pond, he said.
The project is a continuation of efforts made by the district and the association over the years to improve the water quality, Brewer said. A watershed survey done by the association and the district about six years ago identified erosion problems around the lake. Over the years, some of those problems have been addressed. “We’ve been slowly working around the lake working on these projects,” he said.
School officials also are on board with the effort, according to Brewer.
SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan said directors last month had authorized him to write a letter of support for the grant request and they agreed to include a local match in the school budget.
Brewer said he expects to know by late January whether the grant is approved. Such grants require a local match that typically represent 40 percent of the project costs, he said.
The match would be paid by the school, if the school budget is approved. He noted that there is the possibility that the town of Dexter might provide some in-kind service, which would help reduce the local match.