The popular Willard Beach in South Portland was closed by the city Friday after a force main pipe burst late yesterday afternoon near Southern Maine Community College. It will remain closed at least until Tuesday, June 6.
The source of the problem is still unknown. In the meantime, the city of South Portland has asked residents in the area to cut back on water usage to reduce flow into the pump station while it undergoes maintenance.
The beach will only be reopened after the water and beach itself are safety tested, said city spokesperson Dee Shara in a press release Friday. City staff from the South Portland Water Resource Protection department are now working with their contractor, Shaw Brothers Construction, on the pipe.
Force mains are pipelines that use pressure to transfer wastewater from a lower to higher elevations to a discharge point, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We ask for the public’s patience and cooperation while work crews address the problem,” the press release stated.