The city of Gardiner has received a grant for roughly $165,000 to help fund the replacement of an exposed sewer pipe along Cobbossee Stream.

The grant was part of $29.7 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grants and loans given to seven Maine wastewater facilities for upgrades to prevent contamination of the state’s waterways. The USDA announced the grants Tuesday in Hartland at an event celebrating Earth Day.

The grant will cover 30 percent of the $550,000 project, according to City Manager Scott Morelli.

The exposed sewer pipe was discovered by the city in 2012 during road construction on Route 126, Morelli said. He said there hasn’t been an issue with the pipe leaking, but public works staff are concerned about sewer entering the stream if the pipe breaks.

The city will likely put the project out to bid sometime in June, and construction should be largely finished by the end of November, Morelli said.

The savings from the grant will be spread out over the 15 years of debt service for the project, he said.

The other Maine recipients are Stonington Water Co., Wiscasset Water District, and the towns of Hartland, Oxford, Van Buren and Danforth. Nationally, a total $387 million is going to 116 similar projects in 40 states and Puerto Rico.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663 [email protected] Twitter: @paul_koenig

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