About Newport Water District

Mission Statement
The Newport Water District is committed to providing quality drinking water to our customers within Newport and Palmyra, Maine. It is our mission to evaluate, plan and adequately fund the District to a level that will insure sufficient, safe, drinking water for our customers, while striving to control costs and maintain affordability. The health of the environment in Newport and Palmyra is crucial to protecting our natural water resources. Protection of the Nokomis Pond watershed is vital and critical to insure affordable, safe public drinking water for the communities of Newport and Palmyra.

District Description
Newport Water District is a quasi-municipal, non-profit, public utility district established by the Maine State Legislature in 1975. In 1980, the District purchased the utility from Maine Water Company. The District is governed by a locally elected five member Board of Trustees.

All public water utilities in Maine are regulated by the Maine Public Utility Commission (Maine PUC approves construction standards, service criteria, Terms & Conditions, and water rate schedules). The Maine Dept. of Health & Human Services regulates the Maine Drinking Water Program (DWP), which oversees public water utilities (DWP administers grants and loans, assisted by Maine Municipal Bond Bank). The DWP trains and licenses certified water operators and monitors the utilities’ monthly water quality reporting. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection oversees watershed land area regulations, source of supply and water withdrawal rates. Yes, we are highly regulated!!!

The District’s source water is Nokomis Pond, which is located within the towns of Newport and Palmyra, Maine. Nokomis has a surface area of approximately 186 acres with a maximum depth of 24 feet and an average depth of 10 feet. The pond has an estimated volume of 565,000,000 gallons. There are fewer than 12 abutting property owners on Nokomis Pond. The watershed, as identified by Maine Drinking Water Program, has approximately 1443 acres and is made up with approximately 12 property owners in Newport and 48 property owners in Palmyra.

The District serves approximately 625 customers, with a population equivalency of 1625. There is a staff of four (4) full time employees (three are State Certified water operators). There is also a part-time employee who assists with many of the maintenance items. The staff oversees the watershed and pond area, the water treatment facility, three water storage tanks and two pump stations, and approximately fifteen miles of various diameter (2” to 12”) water mains and nearly one hundred fire hydrants; also, customer service, metering program, billing and the many financial reports that are required.

Treatment Process
The slow sand filtration plant was built in 1994. A patented process called “Magnetic Ion Exchange” (MIEX) was installed as pretreatment to the existing slow sand filters in 2009. The MIEX process uses a patented magnetized resin that captures and removes approximately 80% of the "moderate to short-chain" dissolved organic molecules present in the District’s surface water supply. These are commonly referred to as the “precursors” to formation of disinfection byproducts. The MIEX process was selected after an extensive search for an “alternative source” (ground water) failed. Treatment also consists of the following: disinfection with sodium hypochlorite, fluoridation with silly acid, pH adjustment with sodium hydroxide, and corrosion control with a polyphosphate blended corrosion inhibitor.

Distribution (pump stations, water mains and water services)
The District has three storage tanks providing a total storage capacity of 1.12 million gallons. Two of the storage sites are set up as “pump storage”. All three storage tanks have Tide-flex mixing systems that were installed in the fall of 2009. The Tide-flex systems help maintain a complete mix in the storage tanks and prevent stagnation and potential ice damage. Newport Water District maintains approximately 15 miles of water mains, which vary in diameter 2” to 12”. There are approximately 650 water service lines. All active customer accounts are metered (except fire service lines).

Administration and Staff
The District has a five-member, locally-elected Board of Trustees, each of whom serves a five year term. The staff is made up of a Superintendent, General Office Manager, Chief Operator of Treatment, Chief Operator of Distribution and a part-time skilled laborer. Total 2013 annual revenue from water sales was $708,000 and the current debt load is $2.8 million.

AJ Newhall, Superintendent