“ERA BUILDS A SEWER SYSTEM by Frank Gibson
The City of Lewiston has been confronted with a serious situation caused by a stagnant and disease-ridden brook which flowed through the sub-urban section of the city. Valuable land was going to waste as people did not care to build in this section on account of the oder that arose from this brook during the summer months. Money was appropriated by the city officials to put in a drainage system, but due to the fact that only small amounts could be appropriated yearly it would have taken twenty years to complete this sewer system.
On November 23, 1933, men were put to work from the relief rolls on a sewer system which would eliminate this brook and provide sanitation facilities for the residents in this locality. Many problems confronted the workers during the harsh winters of 1933 and 1934. Shacks had to be built to keep the men warm and to eliminate the possibility of frozen hands and feet for the temperature was as low as twenty-five degrees below zero. During the spring and summer the trenches had to be reinforced with timbers to prevent the walls from caving in. Dynamite had to be used to blast through stone ledge eight to nine foot deep and in some places the men worked in trenches fifteen to eighteen feet deep.
Thousands of feet of sewer pipe were used on this project, completed July 1st, 1935. It runs through the city for a distance of 5 miles.
This project has given work to 293 men and has benefited over fifteen hundred people besides eliminating the possibilities of disease from this polluted brook.”
Maine ERA Monthly Vol 1 Number 1
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on December 9, 2018.
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