SCWIP Septic System Maintenance and Repair Project Team

Septic Team Deliverables

For photos of Septic Team events, visit the Protect Kittery Waters photo site at


Bacterial contamination (fecal coliform) is a documented problem in the Spruce Creek Watershed. The primary source of this contamination is likely private septic system failures.

The Septic System Maintenance and Repair Team’s focus will be two-fold: first, to create and implement an educational program for homeowners on septic system maintenance and upkeep, second, the team will be responsible for helping to identify priority septic systems (those with failing and antiquated septic systems) to propose for replacement funded by Maine DEP grants.

The Septic Team will employ a public outreach approach modeled on the successful Washington Sea Grant Septic Social Program. This team will be responsible for adapting this existing program’s materials to the Spruce Creek Watershed, and conducting three septic socials in hot spot neighborhoods (some of which have already been identified). Hot spot neighborhoods are those associated with bacterial contamination in the Creek.

Priority septic systems will be identified by the Team through site inspection, review of Town and DEP records, and analysis utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data layers and aerial photography of the watershed. Working with the homeowners, the appropriate sites will be nominated for replacement through the Maine DEP.

Grant Funding $7,885
Match $5,250
Total Cost $13,135

Grant funding includes approximately 110 hours for a technical advisor from YCSWCD and 40 hours for the grant manager. Funding will also cover travel expenses and $500 in supplies. There is also $1,000 for design and production of informational materials. The match for the grant includes volunteer and Town board participation in the activities, some travel time, and approximately $1,000 for supplies. Additionally $600 is included as an in-kind match from donated printing services.

Responsibilities include:

Septic System Team Activity Dates & Commitments


Estimated Date(s)

First Steering Team & Project Launch Meeting

June 23, 2008

Septic Team Launch Meeting

July 23, 2008

Review Washington Sea Grant Septic Social Program and determine how it can be adapted to the town of Kittery.

July 2008

Develop Septic System Fact Sheet (based on Town of York flyer). Fact sheet to be reviewed and approved by team as well as other appropriate individuals

July – August 2008

Work with Resources Team to make arrangement for printing of fact sheets

August 2008

Work with Resources Team to identify possible commercial sponsors

August 2008

Hold 3 septic socials in coordination with the Public Outreach Team

  • Identify appropriate neighborhoods
  • Recruit a homeowner to hold the social at their residence
  • Set dates for septic socials and send invitations to appropriate home owners
  • Coordinate with Community Outreach Team to promote Septic Socials
  • Coordinate with Technical Advisors to identify professional to attend socials
  • Arrange for refreshments at Septic Socials
  • Conduct informational social

September 2008 – March 2009

Identify Septic Systems in need of repair

  • Review tax records with Town Code Enforcement Officer assistance
  • Review MDEP Overboard Discharge (OBD) licenses
  • Create list of potential sites
  • Contact homeowners and conduct site inspections
  • Arrange for Septic System Dye tests as appropriate
  • Develop list of final sites

July 2008 – February 2009

As appropriate, assist homeowners in obtaining funding through MDEP Small Community Grants Program or the Maine Housing Home Improvement Assistance Program

Spring & Summer 2009

Coordinate with Community Outreach Team to draft project press releases

Summer 2009


Septic System Team Members, Project Partners, & Advisors

The following are team leaders and members, as well as any technical advisors for this team.

Team Members


Will Brewster


Richard Chiango


Dan Clapp

Kittery Shellfish Conservation Commission

Ken Lemont

Kittery Shellfish Conservation Commission

Emily Maxfield


John Robinson


Peter Walsh


Technical Advisor


Heather Ross & Shelly Bishop

Code Enforcement, Town of Kittery


Code Enforcement Officer, Town of Eliot


Septic Technical Advisor


Maine Department of Marine Resources

Project Partners 



Tax Assessor, Town of Kittery


Shellfish Conservation Commission, Town of Kittery


Conservation Commission, Town of Kittery


Conservation Commission, Town of Eliot


Maine DEP


Maine DMR


Maine State Housing Authority