Study: long-term upgrades key to protecting high quality drinking water
(Biddeford, Maine) The Maine Water Company announced today that before 2014 is finished, it plans to spend almost $3 million on the aging drinking water infrastructure in communities it serves in southern Maine. Judy Wallingford, president of Maine W
ater, said major investments will soon be made in the company’s distribution system, in its water treatment plant, and in a critical pump station.
“Northern York County is poised for solid economic growth in the next few years,” Wallingford said, “and it’s our job to make sure the water infrastructure is dependable well into the next few decades. With an exhaustive engineering assessment in hand, we are prioritizing and executing improvements that will serve these communities well.”
In conjunction with a Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) project to upgrade 7,300 feet of West Street in Biddeford, the company will improve its distribution system by replacing an existing 8-inch water main that dates back to the early 1900’s with 12-inch water main, at an expected cost of $1.2 million. Wallingford said the company is realizing a significant savings for customers by coordinating the project with MDOT’s road work. In addition, the upgrade will help the Biddeford Fire Department with improved water flow for fire protection to Hills Beach, the University of New England, and along portions of Pool Road, Meetinghouse Road, Guinea Road and West Street.
Distribution system upgrades are also scheduled for Colby Street and Winona Street in Old Orchard Beach, as part of work planned by the town. After a competitive bidding process, R.J. Grondin & Sons (http://grondinconstruction.com) was selected as the contractor for the improvements on West, Colby and Winona Streets.
Maine Water also plans to upgrade a pump station in Biddeford that serves the high service area in the southwestern part of the city, near Route 111. The company is now working closely with Biddeford city officials to locate the new pump station appropriately. The company has yet to select a contractor for the pump station project, although the project is expected to cost approximately $850,000.
At its water treatment plant on South Street in Biddeford, Maine Water has hired Apex Construction, Inc., at an expected cost of $700,000, to upgrade its chemical handling process. This project includes relocating the chemical storage area away from the Saco River flood plain, converting the disinfection chemical to liquid sodium hypochlorite, and providing proper containment areas for the chemical systems. The project will improve safety for employees and preserve the integrity of the Saco River.
The treatment plant chemical storage work and the new booster station will be funded with Maine State Revolving Loan funds. The competitive program offers low cost financing for water utility projects that score high based on a priority system established by the Maine Drinking Water Program.
Wallingford said the projects in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach were the highest priorities identified by Woodard & Curran (www.woodardcurran.com) and Tata & Howard (www.tataandhoward.com), two companies that collaborated on a recent $140,000 study of Maine Water’s infrastructure in the Biddeford and Saco water system.. The study took several months to complete. It examined infrastructure, long-term water use trends, projected populations changes, pending water quality regulations, and the potential role of the Saco River in supplying the anticipated drinking water needs of the Southern Maine region.
Finally, TPD Construction (www.tpdconstruction.com) has been hired by Maine Water to renovate company offices in Saco. Oak Point Associates (http://oakpoint.com), the well-known architectural firm on Main Street in Biddeford, provided Maine Water with design services.
Maine Water serves 32,000 customers, or a population of 100,000, in over 20 communities throughout the state of Maine. For more information, visit: www.MaineWater.com.