LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved spending up to $6,500 from the joint sewer reserve account for a biochemical demand incubator for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“This is one of our crucial pieces of equipment that is on its last legs at the treatment plant,” Mark Holt, Jay/Livermore Falls sewer superintendent, said.

“A piece of lab equipment we need for our required testing at the plant so the biochemical oxygen samples basically hold their temperature of 20 degrees Celsius over the five-day incubation period between when we put it in until we take it out for the test,” he said.

Holt said the test is run two to four times a week. Previously, an apartment size refrigerator had been used with another box inside it to regulate the temperature. The inside box is going for $500, $600 to $800 and lasts about a year, he said.

Holt requested funding to purchase a biochemical demand incubator “that is made to do the 20 degree Celsius forever.” He said the incubator would run constantly.

USABlueBook, an online catalog, lists those incubators between $3,500 and $6,500, Holt said. He has contacted Jim Wilke, the local representative for Wilkem Scientific, for pricing.


“I would rather deal with them because then I will have somebody to service the unit if we have a problem,” he said. “Otherwise I don’t know who services them from USABlueBook.”

Holt is still doing research, confident the incubator could be obtained for $6,500 or less.

Chairman William Kenniston asked how long the incubator would last.

Holt said he talked with other facilities and they typically last 10 or 12 years.

It costs $600 for the other box, which are replaced annually, and that is roughly $6,000, Kenniston said.

Holt said he has used those boxes in North Jay, some have lasted 10 years, others only a year. “They are only warrantied for a year so you are replacing them and you never know,” he said.


Kenniston asked if the incubator comes with a warranty.

Holt planned to check on warranties, free shipping and other details. “I would like to find out what our biggest bang for the buck is going to be,” he said.

Holt said he would need to get approval from the Jay Select Board as well.

“Both boards need to approve spending money from the joint reserve account,” he said. “The balance of the joint reserve account should be over $180,000 now.”

The plant, which is owned and operated by Livermore Falls, serves sewer users in Livermore Falls and Jay. The two towns are splitting costs of upgrades to the plant at an estimated $21 million when it is completed in 2026.

Selectman Jim Long asked if the money would be split.


“It comes out of there as one lump sum but it goes in split according to the year’s flow split percentage,” Holt said. It has been in the range of 56/44 or 58/42 lately, he noted.

“Do these self monitor and tell you if there’s been an outage in terms of the temperature?” Kenniston asked.

“Yes, there are alarms and stuff like that on them,” Holt said. He would check on how they worked. Maine Department of Environmental Protection regulations require the temperature be recorded every day staff is in the lab.

“There is a chart outside the unit,” he said. “We record the temperature, make sure it is at 20 degrees Celsius plus or minus 0.5 degrees.”

“We have an inspection coming July 11 and I would like to have this in place when DEP comes to inspect our facility,” he said. “That is why the urgency.”

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