Maine Water Files Permit Applications for New Water Treatment Facility

Maine Water Company filed applications today with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for state and federal environmental permits in support of their plan to build a new water treatment facility on the Saco River in Biddeford.   The new facility will replace the original water treatment facility along the Saco River that dates back to 1884.  It will provide continued water service to Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and the Pine Point area of Scarborough.

Engineering assessments clearly demonstrated that construction of a new facility would be more cost effective than attempting to renovate a facility that had been in service for more than a century.  This generational investment will have the benefit of lower long term cost of ownership, include updated treatment technology to meet increasingly stringent water quality standards, and be more energy efficient.  Perhaps most importantly, a new facility located at a higher elevation would eliminate the risk of future flooding at the facility that could impact operation and service. 

"Our team has worked hard to develop an appropriate design and prepare a site plan that will minimize impacts on wetlands and on the Saco River, which has been the source of drinking water for this public water system since its original construction," said Rick Knowlton, President of Maine Water.   The state and federal environmental permits will evaluate the company’s plan for the new 35,000 square foot facility proposed on South Street.  Knowlton continued, "These permit applications are an important step in the development of the project as they determine how to best site the new structures on undeveloped company owned land across South Street from the existing facility."

The company expects to file applications for local permits with the City of Biddeford and the Saco River Corridor Commission later this summer.  The local permitting processes require additional design detail that will in part be guided by the federal and state reviews.   The construction schedule will be established once all permits are in hand and the project is expected to take two years once the work begins.

Knowlton emphasized the importance of continued capital investments and reliable water utility infrastructure, "The families, businesses and communities we serve depend on us to deliver water every day, and we take that commitment very seriously. We are here to deliver public health protection through the provision of high quality drinking water and public fire protection service, and to support the growth of local communities.  This new water treatment facility is designed to provide service to the communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and the Pine Point area of Scarborough well into the next century."   

Knowlton noted, "This project is part of the company’s business plan and our parent company is committed to the financing and the necessary support to make this generational investment in the Biddeford Saco water system.  Further, as we move forward with the combination with SJW Group, they have made a commitment to continued capital investments of over $200 million in the water systems across the combined operations, with funding specifically earmarked for this important project to benefit Maine Water customers."


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