Wayne Picard retired from Maine Water Company

Served Biddeford & Saco Division for 35 years!

We're really going to miss this guy!

We really miss this guy!

(Saco, Maine) Earlier this summer, Wayne Picard retired from Maine Water Company after 35 years of serving the customers in the Biddeford and Saco area.

Picard joined what was at the time the Biddeford and Saco Water Company in April, 1981, working on the distribution crew. Over the years, Wayne has been promoted to various positions, and most recently has been an Engineering Project Coordinator, managing upgrades and capital projects to the Biddeford and Saco water system. Just since 2013, Picard has managed the $900,000 replacement of a critical booster station in Biddeford and the upgrade to the Industrial Park site in Saco to accommodate the relocation of the Maine Water home office employees to that building. He also managed two significant water replacement projects on West Street and Elm Street in Biddeford.

“In addition, Wayne’s most recent accomplishment was the oversight and management of the $2.5 million replacement of a finished water storage tank in Biddeford,” stated Judy Wallingford, President. “His no-nonsense, Maine Yankee, approach to these significant upgrades have been invaluable to the projects’ successful completion, and his historical knowledge of the entire water system will be sorely missed.”

Wayne and his wife, Sue, plan to stay in Biddeford and enjoy retirement, starting with an immediate fishing trip Downeast, followed by tackling the growing “Honey Do” list.

A celebration was held in Wayne’s honor at the company’s Saco office on May 19th. Wallingford stated “It has been an honor to work with Wayne, and I thank him for his many years of service, dedication and loyalty. We will miss him, but we wish Wayne the very best in retirement.”

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Downtown vitality impresses water company Board

One of the cleanest rivers in U.S. helps drive economic rebound

(Saco, Maine) The Board of Directors of the Maine Water Company, which has been investing heavily to upgrade its local public water supply and distribution systems, got a first-hand look today at some of the major revitalization projects currently taking place in downtown Biddeford and Saco.

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The Saco Falls project, at the top pf York Hill, is now being refurbished. It will bring several new restaurants, and hundreds of new residents, to downtown Saco.

“I was really impressed by how much is happening here, and how quickly,” said Bradford Hunter, a Maine Water board member. “With the better part of two million square feet of space already developed or under development now, you really have to see it to grasp the full scope of what’s going on.”

Hunter lives in Cumberland Foreside and is the recently retired Chief Financial Officer of Dead River Company and former CEO of Fleet Bank of Maine.

Craig Pendleton, executive director of the Biddeford, Saco and OOB Chamber of Commerce, organized the tour. Escorted by Saco Mayor Ron Michaud, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant and several other community leaders, water company officials first toured the Saco Mills project in Saco. They then crossed the new pedestrian bridge between the two cities, before visiting the Pepperell Mill Campus, and Pepperell Center, a building that houses Think Tank, Portland Pie, Banded Horn Brewery, Impact Fitness Center, Angelrox, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, and many other businesses. The Saco Falls project is now under construction, and when finished will bring hundreds of new residents to Saco Island. The Pepperell Mill Campus has been in a sweeping transformation for more than a decade, and continues to attract dozens of entrepreneurs and many new residents to downtown Biddeford.

Saco’s Mayor Michaud said local leaders were glad for the chance to discuss continued investment in basic infrastructure, and they were proud to show off the economic revitalization in downtown Biddeford and Saco. Nevertheless, he said that other conversations with members of the Maine Water Board of Directors were equally important, and made an impression on him.

“They have a keen understanding of the Saco as a vital resource,” Michaud said, “and in particular, they have a real respect for the important work of the Saco River Corridor Commission. Maine Water plans to further invest in a treatment facility along the Saco River to meet the long-term water supply needs of the area in an environmentally sustainable way. As everybody knows, this river is so important to our lives, and it’s one of the cleanest in the Northeast. It’s great to know we have a partner who’s committed to keeping it that way.”

Judy Wallingford, president of Maine Water Company, stated, “Maine Water is proud to have invested about $11 million in drinking water infrastructure to serve the region between 2013 and 2015, with an additional $2.5 million in spending projected in 2016. Having access to a robust water system is an important consideration for business leaders as they consider growing their businesses and creating jobs in the Biddeford Saco region.”


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Ken was one of the best!

(Skowhegan, Maine) Ken Turpel, Treatment Plant Operator for Maine Water Company, has retired from the company after 13 years.

IMG_1683[7]Ken began his career in the water profession in 1983, when he began working at the Pittsfield Water Department. By 1985, he was Superintendent of the Town of Pittsfield Water and Sewer Department. In 2003, he became a Plant Operator at Maine Water, helping to manage the water treatment process for three water systems serving the towns of Skowhegan, Oakland and Hartland. Over his 33-year career in water, he obtained the highest level of water distribution license, as well as obtaining his water treatment and his wastewater licenses, while being dedicated to outstanding water service to the customers.

“Ken is a perfectionist in managing our water treatment processes,” stated Judy Wallingford, President, “which is exactly what we want when it comes to producing safe and reliable public water service for our customers! We will all miss his expertise and strong work ethic, but wish him the very best in retirement.”

Ken plans to stay in the area, spending time with his wife, Bonnie, and his family, volunteering and finding more time for fishing and kayaking and his work with the church. A celebration luncheon was held in Ken’s honor at the company’s Skowhegan facilities on July 21st.

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More great reasons to use e-Billing!

Convenience, iPad drawings & food pantry donations are great incentives

(Saco, Maine) Maine Water announced today that for every customer who switches to e-billing from now to October 1, the company will donate a dollar to various food pantries across the state.

Tersa Androkitis of Old Orchard Beach recently took home a new iPad! Customer Service Manager Pam Blackman made the presentation earlier this month.

Tersa Androkitis of Old Orchard Beach recently took home a new iPad! Customer Service Manager Pam Blackman made the presentation earlier this month.

Wallingford said the company would like to see e-billing enrollment double by the end of 2016, reaching 20% of the customer base, or approximately 6,500 customers.

“E-billing is convenient, it saves paper and waste, and it costs significantly less than producing and mailing a bill to our customers,” stated Judy Wallingford, Maine Water President. “Of course, we know some customers will prefer to continue to receive their bill in regular mail, and we will continue to offer that option.”

About 10% of Maine Water customers now receive their bill via an email. In addition to the food pantry donations, the company is using other incentives to promote conservation.

It announced in the fall of 2015 that any existing or new customers signed up for e-billing by the end of January would be eligible to win a new iPad in a random drawing. The drawing was held in mid-February, and from the approximately 3,000 e-billing customers, Teresa and John Androkitis of Old Orchard Beach were randomly selected. The family was recently presented with the iPad in the company’s Saco office.

Another random drawing for a new iPad will take place in the fall.

“As we highlight this convenience to customers, we thought we could also have a little fun and contribute to a good cause,” Wallingford said.


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Kirby Littlefield wins prestigious Sid Anthony Award of Merit

(Saco, Maine) Maine Water is pleased to announce that long-time employee Kirby Littlefield received the Sid Anthony Award of Merit from the Maine Water Utilities Association at its annual conference last week in Portland, Maine.

Kirby Littlefield first started as a plant operator in May, 1966 in the water treatment plant in Biddeford, Maine, and is completing his 50th year in that role. Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to delivering clean drinking water to the customers in Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Pine Point in Scarborough.

Littlefield2“That is no small challenge with a treatment plant that dates back to 1884, along with the ever changing conditions of the Saco River,” said Judy Wallingford, President of Maine Water. “Kirby has been known to be at the plant by 4 am, or before, and has spent many nights at the plant when he was concerned about equipment failures. He knows the treatment plant like the back of his hand, and willingly helps and guides his colleagues in the finer points of the treatment plant operation. And he always has a smile on his face!”

Wallingford said “WWKD” (What Would Kirby Do?) procedures are well known by his fellow plant operators as Kirby documents the intricacies of running the treatment plant.

“I am so pleased that Kirby was presented with this award, and it is an honor to work with him at Maine Water. His character and values truly represent the very best of the water utility profession,” Wallingford said.

The Sid Anthony Award, honoring its namesake, is given each year to a Maine water utility employee who exemplifies public water service to its customers, assistance to other water utility personnel, and outstanding contributions to the water works profession. Mr. Anthony was a long time superintendent of the Augusta water system, and also served as President of the Maine Water Utilities Association and New England Water Works Association. He was known for his dedication to the water works profession.


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Maine Water outlines capital investment plans

Utility systematically replacing aging water infrastructure

(Saco, Maine) Maine Water has completed its 2015 capital spending, and has announced its capital plan for 2016.

In 2015, the company invested $8.1 million to improve service, water quality and reliability across its ten divisions in Maine. This included two major projects in its Biddeford and Saco Division, a $1 million new booster station and a $2.5 million new storage tank. In addition, across the state, the company upgraded old water mains, some dating back to the late 1800’s, at a cost of just over $2.5 million.

booster #2The $7.3 million capital plan for 2016 continues the company’s program of systematically replacing the aging water infrastructure in its various water systems. According to Vice President of Operations, Rick Knowlton, almost $4.6 million of the company’s planned investment in 2016 will be allocated to the replacement of older or inadequate water mains, and other components of the distribution systems across the state. Altogether, Maine Water maintains approximately 550 miles of distribution infrastructure.

“This program improves reliability and water quality, and reduces lost water through leaks and breaks,” Knowlton said. “Water systems across the U.S. are due for replacement at an increasing pace, because the age of the original infrastructure in the ground approaches Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.16.28 AM100 years or more. We’re making sure public water systems support the future needs of Maine communities, including economic development and wise use of our natural water resources. And, of course, a nice bonus for the state is that this work creates a lot of construction jobs.”

Knowlton said the balance of Maine Water’s capital investments in the upcoming year will include treatment plant upgrades, particularly control and security systems. He said local superintendents will be reaching out to community public works and town officials soon to map out planned work in 2016. This will facilitate a coordinated approach and shared economies of scale.


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Superintendent joins Maine Water’s Biddeford & Saco Division


mhall(Saco, Maine) Maine Water has hired Michael “Mickey” Hall as Superintendent of its Biddeford and Saco Division as part of the company’s ongoing recruitment of talented professionals. Mr. Hall is committed to serving the 16,000 customers well in the communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Pine Point in Scarborough, and to managing the upgrades needed for this water system.

Mickey Hall has 13 years of experience with managing the construction and rehabilitation of water and wastewater systems across the state. In his new position at Maine Water, he is responsible for 22 employees that manage and operate the water treatment plant and the water distribution system. He will also oversee the division’s capital budget, which is expected to be over $2.5 million for 2016, as the company continues to replace aging infrastructure throughout the area.

“I am pleased to have Mickey on board, and to see his immediate leadership of our biggest water system within Maine Water,” stated Judy Wallingford, President of Maine Water. “I know he will not be daunted by the task ahead of him with 250 miles of aging water mains and a 125 year old treatment plant that is expected to be replaced in the next 5 years. He has an experienced group of employees with many years of service to help him.”


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