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.
The $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 100 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.