Hampton Beach pumping stationHampton Beach pumping station
Up until 1933, the sewer system of Hampton Beach was simply a system built by the Hampton Beach Improvement Company which piped raw sewage directly into the ocean. Under threat from state health officials due to “deplorable conditions” that would have resulted in quarantine and shut down of the beach, “the federal government [P.W.A.] awarded a $160,000 funding package to the town in September. Some $40,000 of the grant was a gift; the balance was to be paid back with a bond issue.” After some noisy opposition from local officials that defeated a proposal and threats from the state, “the Superior Court granted a petition for another special town meeting. On December 14, 1933, less than a month after the sewer project was first voted down, residents approved the proposal by a 378-102 margin. One year later, the Union [newspaper] boasted, “The nearly completed sewer plant beyond Tide Mill Road is one of the most wonderful projects to be found anywhere in this vicinity …. The grounds surrounding the plant have been beautifully landscaped, and give the appearance of a park with a fine view of Hampton Beach across the marshes.” When operation began in April 1934, Hampton had the distinction of constructing the first sewage treatment facility of its type in the state, and Hampton Beach was the only Atlantic Coast recreational community between Canada and Florida that did not dump its sewage directly into the ocean.”
“The original sewage treatment plant constructed in 1934 and placed in operation in 1935 consisted of an Imhoff tank, dosing tank, trickling filter, secondary settling tank and certain pumping equipment and chlorinating apparatus, all designed to serve an estimated population of 10,000 persons on a year-round basis, with special provisions for the greater part of the sewage contributed to the plant arriving during the period between June 15 and Labor Day, and the principal function of the plant up to the present time has been to treat the sewage from Hampton Beach, which is pumped from the Beach area across the marsh to the treatment works which are located on the mainland southeasterly from Hampton Village.”
“The Church Street Pump house was designed and constructed in 1934-35 as the main pump interceptor for sewage from Hampton Beach destined for the town’s first sewerage treatment plant located about 3,300 feet to the northwest (across the Great Marsh) off of Tide Mill Road. The most distinctive architectural feature, besides the building’s almost faceted cube-like appearance, is the decorative brickwork on the front facade and the use of concrete bands (vertical and horizontal) to define the entranceway and the cornice area. The arrangement of the decorative brickwork and banding, as well as the overall cube-like massing, identifies the pump house as a simple but refined expression of 1930s Art Deco.” Many modification were made to the facility over the years and a new pump house was constructed this year and the old building torn down.
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on November 30, 2014.
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