OXFORD — Gov. Paul LePage will head a delegation of state and local officials celebrating the completion of the $28 million wastewater treatment plant Thursday, Oct. 13.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the plant at 33 Mechanic Falls Road near the intersection with Route 26.

In addition to LePage, U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel, and representatives for U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, will attend. They will be joined by Town Manager Derik Goodine, former Town Manager Michael Chammings and Brent Bridges of Woodard and Curran engineering company that designed the plant.

The public is invited to attend. Tours will be available until 3 p.m.

“On behalf of the town and its elected officials and town employees, I must say that we are excited to finally get the construction completed and the plant and system up and running,”Goodine said in a statement. “We look forward to helping existing and new residents and businesses explore the possibilities of hooking into the system, and for new businesses discovering Oxford and growing with us as a community.”

The project was made possible by USDA Rural Development, which provided the town with a $28.27 million grant.

By the end of its first full year in operation, local officials say the project will provide 297 residents and 383 total users with a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible way to manage waste.

The system uses a series of fine mesh screens, or membranes, to slough off solids. The remaining wastewater is sanitized with state-of-the-art ultraviolet light system instead of chlorine bleach or other chemicals.

The plant is being operated by the town through its local operator, Rob Dunbar, under a contract with Harris Environmental Services of Ellsworth.

The system will support major economic, business and community development projects in the town, including Oxford Casino and other local businesses, helping to promote economic growth and job creation in the region, officials said.

The gravity sewer system will transport waste from homes and businesses to the plant. Some properties may require a wastewater/grinder pump that takes wastewater from a septic tank to the new collection system.

Gravity and pump system users will be charged a fee. Details of a loan program for those connecting to the system are being will be provided at a special town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Oxford Town Office.

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