North Windham Sewer Project

The following is from the Town of Windham’s web site. The Town Council also sent a mailing that arrived in my box today that is addressed to all Town residents. Between the mailing and the various public meetings you should have enough information to make a decision for the referendum vote on June 14, 2022. You can also vote by absentee ballot so make your voice heard.

North Windham Sewer Project Public Meeting

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Please join us to learn more about the June 14, 2022 Referendum vote on the North Windham Sewer Project.

Join us at a PUBLIC MEETING, on May 19, 2022, at the Windham High School Auditorium, to learn more about the June 14, 2022 Referendum question regarding the North Windham Sewer Project.   

Why is the Town in partnership with the Portland Water District proposing this solution?  Where will the proposed system be installed?  How will wastewater be treated and phosphorus and nitrogen reduced?  What is the project cost and what funding resources has the Town been awarded?

We hope you can join us to learn more.

North Windham Sewer Project

Windham and the Portland Water District are working together to find a solution aimed at “protecting public health and the environment and promoting sustainable economic and community development.”

The above statement is copied from the Town of Windham web page. Here is the link to take you to more information on the current process:

On Tuesday April 12th, the final agenda item on the Town Council meeting that evening is the North Windham Sewer Project Update. For anyone not following the progress of this project, it is suggested that you follow the above link and review the project documents. The proposal is to build a sewage treatment plant that would be built on Town property across Sposedo Road from the Manchester School. Again from the above link is the following:

Construct a public wastewater system and remove approximately 100 septic systems which will eliminate 22,000 lbs
of nitrogen and 3,000 lbs of phosphorous from being discharged into the North Windham aquifer.
o Construct over 3-miles of collection and pumping system to connect businesses and residents to the system.
o Treat wastewater through an advanced micro-filtration system. This innovative system will allow for direct
drip dispersal on site and eliminate pollution. This project will be the first of this magnitude in Maine and
can be a model for other communities who lack receiving waters.
• A wastewater system will allow for sustainable economic growth.
o Current businesses will be able to grow and new businesses can be sited without further degrading the
aquifer and utilizing valuable real estate for septic systems.
o The new system will encourage higher density business growth and less sprawl.

The wastewater drip dispersal would be distributed under the playing fields at the Manchester School.

There is a public meeting and information session held by the Portland Water District scheduled for April 27th at 6:30pm that will be held at the Manchester School Cafeteria.

Read the available information and plan to come to the public meeting to get more information.


Little Sebago Lake started its State mandated water level draw down for Winter on October 15th. The water release rate may accelerate over the next several weeks due to needed repairs to their release mechanism. As always, we coordinate with the Little Sebago Lake Dam Keeper to prevent our water level from becoming too high. Also, the Collins Pond water level is annually lowered at this time to lessen damage to the shorelines from ice expansion.

Recent water level changes

Starting in early July, due to the recent heavy rainstorms, Little Sebago Lake’s Dam Keeper partially opened their Hopkins dam to keep that lake at the State mandated level. We opened the Collins Pond dam in response to try to maintain a constant lake level. On Sunday, 7/25, the LSL dam was closed to only a 5% release. Our dam was closed about 12 hours later, just a little late to maintain the normal level. It is difficult to gage the correct time to open and close and also how much to adjust. Close too early and our lake level rises too much. Currently the level is low but is expected to gradually rise back to its normal level.

New England Milfoil on collins pond in july 2021

Two crews from New England Milfoil will be on Collins Pond again this year helping to control the infestation of Hybrid Variable Leaf Milfoil. These crews are currently on the lake working from July 5th through July 15th. The Collins Pond Improvement Association has been working since 2006 to reduce the spread of this non-native, invasive plant in our lake. With the help of grants from a variety of sources including the Maine DEP and the Town of Windham we have been able to hire New England Milfoil crews for the 8th year to augment the work our own volunteer DASH boat crew is able to accomplish. Hand-pulling these plants is slow work and must be done each year. Eventually it is hoped that enough of the large concentrations of plants will be removed that less maintenance will be required.

Lake or Pond?

One of the most frequently asked questions posed of biologists in the Lake Assessment Section of Maine DEP, is what makes an inland body of freshwater a lake or a pond? About half of the 6,000 lakes and ponds that have been assigned a state identification number have been named, many having two or three names. At least thirty have one name with the word lake in it and the other with the word pond. For example, Bryant Pond is also known as Lake Christopher and Dexter Pond sports the name Wassookeag Lake! It is often these dual names that make folks wonder exactly where do we draw the line in Maine?

One classic distinction is that sunlight penetrates to the bottom of all areas of a pond in contrast to lakes, which have deep waters that receive no sunlight at all. Another is that ponds generally have small surface areas and lakes have large surfaces. So a combination of surface area and depth are considered from a technical perspective. 

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Some of our waters are definitely lakes – they are both large and deep – indisputably lakes. Others are ponds – small and shallow. And there is a transition between the two where the definition becomes fuzzy. If we held to the depth distinction, some ponds would become lakes mid-summer when algal populations limit light penetration to the bottom. The surface area distinction makes no sense for seven-acre waters that are 50 feet deep (like Maine’s kettle ponds), or for 400-acre waters that have emergent vegetation across their entire surface. 

So to answer the question above: no definitive line exists between lakes and ponds. The one distinction that has any legal application is the designation of a water as a Great Pond. Maine state statues define lakes and ponds greater than ten acres in size as Great Ponds. If an impounded water is greater than thirty acres in size it is also legally considered a Great Pond; impounded waters less than thirty acres that were greater than ten acres before dammed are also Great Ponds

Thus there is no exact technical distinction between lakes and ponds. All lakes and ponds provide critical habitat for other living creatures – aquatic macroinvertebrates, plankton, fish, wildlife and vegetation – and all need protection, so that clean fresh water continues to be one of Maine’s premier natural resources.

Information provided by Linda Bacon at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.


As mandated by the State of Maine, Little Sebago Lake will close the Hopkins Dam on April 15th to start to bring that lake up to its summer level. Some years ago an agreement was reached with the State to set the summer and winter water levels on Little Sebago Lake to settle disagreements among property owners. Since this is the upstream water source for Collins Pond, our dam will start to close a few days before this to bring our lake level back up to a normal summer level.

Collins Pond