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EPA Recognizes Maine Project to Protect Drinking Water Infrastructure

11/28/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON - A project in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, was among four projects in New England to repair and upgrade drinking water infrastructure that were recognized for excellence and innovation by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority was given honorable mention for its anaerobic digestion & cogeneration Units.

"The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program helps communities and water systems through low-interest loans that can be used to update aging infrastructure, create jobs, and protect the public health and the environment," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "The scale and complexity of the projects that are being recognized show the determination and creativity of EPA's partners in achieving water quality goals."

The Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Water Pollution Control Authority needed new options to dispose of biosolids due to the rising costs of applying it to farm fields. The authority received a one percent interest state revolving fund loan to construct an anaerobic digestion facility to reduce their biosolids capacity. The project had the added benefit of producing significant amounts of electricity, which is used to power the water reclamation facility.

The project's two 230-kilowatt biogas cogeneration engines produce an average of 200,000-kilowatt hours a month and have gone as high as 380,000 kilowatt hours in some months. This self-generated power significantly reduces the facility's energy costs, and the low interest rate financing made this project affordable. The authority turned a problem into a success by converting a biosolid disposal issue into a process that now produces energy for the facility without raising rates.

The other projects were in Grafton, Mass., Newport, R.I. and Waterbury, Vt. These were among 30 honored nationwide as part of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

Background

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a federal-state partnership, gives communities a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. Over the past 31 years, its programs have provided more than $132 billion in financing for water quality infrastructure.

Within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, a "Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success" program celebrates innovation. The projects that were recognized through this program ran the gamut from large wastewater infrastructure projects to small decentralized and agriculture projects.

Learn more about each of the 2018 PISCES recognized projects at https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/pisces.