Drinking Water

Quality you can trust

We believe you should be able to take clean drinking water for granted…so we don’t. Each year, we deliver an amazing amount of safe drinking water—over 640 million gallons—to 5,700 customers in five towns. To do this, we maintain over 100 miles of water pipes, 485 hydrants, 7 pump stations, 10 storage tanks and hundreds of valves throughout our service area.

Where does our water come from?

Your drinking water comes primarily from three groundwater wells, Brookside, Triangle and South on the westside of the Kennebec. Plus two new wells at Sunrise Circle on the east side of the Kennebec River came online in September 2015 to provide “supply redundancy”, that is, to ensure continued drinking water availability in the event of a major chemical spill or other disruption on either side of the river. 

Water Quality Testing 

Since 1903, we’ve been committed to safeguarding—and continually improving—the quality of your drinking water. In accordance with State of Maine Regulations and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, we test for 89 different contaminants and collect at least 25 bacteria samples every month. We constantly monitor the treatment and distribution system with computerized online monitors.

People in Maine and throughout the country today are understandably concerned about lead in their drinking water. We’re glad to report that the level of lead in GAUD’s water supply in both 2014 and 2015 was measured at 3.8 parts per billion (ppb), which is 75% below the 15 ppb “Action Level” (the level at which there is a health concern requiring mitigation).

Given the possibility of lead entering tap water from private-property plumbing, we encourage our customers—and residents with private wells—to have their water tested for lead. This can be done quickly and inexpensively through local laboratory services.

Our water quality reports also show all other contaminants at well below safe levels.

Click here for our most recent Water Quality Report.

What’s in my water?

We flush our water system annually to remove iron deposits that form as pipes corrode. With new treatment techniques, we've substantially reduced red water complaints and can pump our water further with less chlorine. This leads to fewer taste and odor complaints and reduces the formation of byproducts.

To help prevent tooth decay, drinking water is treated with sodium fluoride to provide 0.7 milligrams per liter (0.7 parts per million or ppm) of fluoride to all customers. Sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in laundry bleach) is added to disinfect your water and protect you and the distribution system against organic contaminants (bacteria and other microorganisms). An agent is also added to reduce lead and copper levels at the tap, and reduce iron and calcium levels in the distribution system.

2016 drinking water compliance reports

Water hardness

Wells are naturally high in calcium. Calcium hardness levels are approximately 130 milligrams per liter (130 ppm). While this level is natural and safe, some customers have expressed concern about white spots on dishes or sinks. The white spotting is calcium residue and not harmful.  It can often be removed with the gentle use of vinegar.

For information regarding the proper care and maintenance of any appliance or system using ‘hard’ hot water, please refer to your owners manual or talk with a qualified professional.

"Drinking water that has an increased level of calcium and magnesium, often referred to as ‘hard water’, is commonly found in Maine well water and is not a health concern.”
—Roger Crouse, P.E.
State of Maine Drinking Water Program Director

We offer an immediate solution to those experiencing any problems with water hardness: free residue removal products. Please stop by our offices at your convenience to pick up a sample.

An enduring value

GAUD has managed to keep our water rates remarkably stable for the past decade. Research shows that in most cases, tap water like ours performs just as well as bottled water in taste tests.

Click here for our Drinking Water Terms and Conditions.

 

Carleton Pond Watershed

The District owns property in Readfield and East Winthrop around Carleton Pond.  Though Carleton Pond is not used for drinking water anymore, the source is an emergency backup water supply to the District's drinking water wells.  The forest around the pond generates revenue for the District through timber harvesting.  Part of the use of the pond requires a forest management plan which you can view at the link below.

Forest management plan