Your Auburn Water District, Lewiston Public Works Water Division and Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission are pleased to provide this informative supplement about a resource so important to everyone in the Lewiston-Auburn area — our drinking water!

Today, as we prepare to commission a new Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Facility, we take pride in explaining how your water is treated and protected, and how the partnership between Lewiston and Auburn has helped keep water rates low — among the lowest in the state and nation.

Lake Auburn has been a public water supply for 135 years. Auburn residents began using it for drinking water in 1875, and Lewiston started dipping into the lake in 1899. A long tradition of cooperation between the two cities led to protection of water quality by managing buffer properties around the lake and its tributaries, maintaining reasonable access and recreational use of the lands and the lake, protecting the water from invasive species like milfoil, and addressing and monitoring outbreaks to prevent spreading.

The UV disinfection equipment we’ve installed was mandated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. But that doesn’t mean that government at all levels has been anything less than vigilant in protecting your drinking water so far. In the past 30 years, the SDWA has safeguarded public health while responding to new and emerging threats to safe drinking water. In fact, disinfection of that water was one of the major public health advances of the 20th century. One hundred years ago, typhoid and cholera epidemics were common in American cities. But now, thanks largely to disinfection, they’re history.

Cooperation between the cities’ two water utilities, such as creation of the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission and construction of the UV Light Treatment Facility, have allowed us to meet or exceed all federal SDWA regulations and requirements while keeping water rates in the Twin Cities among the lowest in Maine.

The great American, Ben Franklin, once said, “When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water.” A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any community. It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and helps ensure the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression.

So please page through this supplement and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. You can visit us at either www.awsd.org or www.ci.lewiston.me.us. There is no other resource so precious and yet taken for granted so much as safe drinking water.


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