Maine Water’s New Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center Wins Envision Silver Award for Sustainable Infrastructure

BIDDEFORD, Maine–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) has awarded Maine Water Company’s Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center the Envision Silver Award for Sustainable Infrastructure. The center treats and filters water from the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine, so that 40,000 people in the communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Pine Point have a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water. quality that meets all state and federal drinking water standards.

Envision provides ISI’s consistent and consensus-based framework for assessing the sustainability, resilience, and equity of civil infrastructure. The framework provides a system of performance criteria and targets to help project designers and decision makers identify sustainable, resilient and equitable approaches during planning, design and construction that will continue throughout the project phases. operation, maintenance and end of life of the project. Envision verification ensures that projects live up to their claims, and project awards are based on criteria defined in the framework.

“The new Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center is a key infrastructure asset for the Biddeford-Saco community,” said Melissa Peneycad, General Manager of ISI. “Maine Water and its project partners are to be commended for their conscious design efforts to meet short- and long-term community needs while rehabilitating the environmental functions and reliance of the facility as a primary water utility. drinking water for the Biddeford-Saco region. This Envision Silver Award is a testament to Maine Water’s leadership and commitment to sustainability.

Mark Vannoy, President of Maine Water, said:On behalf of Maine Water employees and the company, we are pleased to be the first project in New England to receive an ISI Silver Level Award. When it became clear that our 1884 drinking water plant needed to be replaced, we wanted to demonstrate our long-standing commitment to the environment and sustainability. The Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center will be a source of high quality drinking water for decades and generations to come and will be done so in a responsible manner. We thank our partners Hazen and Sawyer and MWH Constructors, who shared our passion and commitment to the project and its sustainability.

The center has the capacity to produce up to 12 million gallons of treated and filtered drinking water per day, which is enough to support community economic development goals and provide a robust flow of water to public outlets. fire to support fire protection.

Matt Valade, Project Engineering Design Manager and Regional Water Practice Group Manager for Hazen and Sawyer, added: “Maine Water was committed to sustainable design from the start, which is why the Envision framework was adopted early on. The award recognizes Maine Water for building back better and setting an example of how to successfully complete these generational projects.

Blair Lavoie, president of MWH Constructors and construction manager for the project, said:The Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center is a project that we believe has brought great value to the service communities, and we are proud to be a partner in the project. It is impressive that Maine Water has gone the extra step to verify the project with Envision to demonstrate its attention to the sustainable design and delivery of this outstanding facility.

Several features of the Saco River Drinking Water Resource Center (SRDWRC) project have been reviewed and verified by ISI, including those detailed below.

Sustainability Leadership

Demonstrated leadership and a strong commitment to sustainability are needed to manage the challenge of evolving design standards to contribute to long-term sustainability conditions. All project partners – Maine Water, Hazen and Sawyer and MWH – embrace sustainability as a core value. They collaborated with each other and successfully engaged the community and other stakeholders, to ensure that the most sustainable results for the new SRDWRC would be achieved throughout the life of the project.

Use of renewable energies

SRDWRC’s energy demands will be met by renewable energy. Additionally, a 1.1 MW photovoltaic array will be constructed just southwest of the facility site boundary to reduce reliance on purchased power and instead meet demand. thanks to on-site production.

Protect surface and ground water sources

To offset the addition of impervious surfaces within the project boundary for the new facility, the project incorporates several stormwater management and revegetation practices, including the addition of storm berm level spreaders, buffers and an underdrained soil filter. The revegetation of 4,514 square feet of an existing parking lot will also improve infiltration of the property and allow water to filter through the ground before reaching the Saco River.

Restoration of wetlands

A 2015 site survey by the SRDWRC revealed that the site contains wetlands. Although this project only affects 1.88 acres of the site, Maine Water is preserving 257 acres of high ecological value land as part of the project. It includes a red maple swamp and the entire creek frontage along Swan Pond Creek, which is an important habitat for wild brook trout. This significant preservation area more than offsets the 1.88 acres of wetland impact.

Preparing for long-term adaptability

Flooding is the main climate-related risk for the SRDWRC, and this project is designed and built with long-term adaptation in mind. For example, all critical facility equipment will be above the floodplain design elevation, which is 64 feet, or will be fully submersible. The new facility is also being constructed outside of FEMA’s 100- and 500-year flood levels. All structural components will be watertight, preventing flood water from entering the building through runoff or seepage, and the raw water intake pipe will be placed at the lowest possible point to handle fluctuating water levels in the river Bag.


Project verified by Envision:

Saco River Water Treatment Plant


Biddeford, Maine

Consider note:



Maine Water

Project delivery:

Management of construction at risk (CMAR)

Main company Envision:

Hazen and Sawyer

Project partners:

Hazen and Sawyer (official engineer), Walsh Engineering (civil, permits), MWH Constructors (general contractor), Jones Associates (environment)

Date of grant :

July 13, 2022

Project stage:


For more information:

About ISI

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit education and research organization that developed and maintains the Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating Framework and System. ISI advances sustainable, resilient, and equitable civil infrastructure through education, training, and third-party project verification. For more information, visit

About Maine Water

The Maine Water Company is a water utility that owns 12 public water systems engaged in the collection, treatment, and distribution of potable water for homes, businesses, and fire protection service. The Maine Water Company serves approximately 85,000 people in 21 Maine communities. For more information, visit

Maine Water is a subsidiary of SJW Group (NYSE: SJW), one of the nation’s largest water and wastewater utilities in the United States, providing high-quality water service to nearly 1 .5 million people in California, Connecticut, Maine and Texas.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Some of these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of 5 forward-looking words such as “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “seeks”, “approximately”, ” intends”, “plans”, “estimates”, “projects”, “strates” or “anticipates”, or the negative of these words or any other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict.

These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, but not limited to, the following factors: (1) the effect of government policies and regulations relating to water, utilities, environmental and other services, including actions regarding tariffs, authorized returns on equity, authorized capital structures, capital expenditures and other decisions; (2) changes in demand for water and other services; (3) the impact of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic on our business operations and financial results; (4) unforeseen weather conditions and changes in seasonality, including those affecting water supply and customer usage; (5) climate change and its effects; (6) unforeseen costs, charges or expenses; (7) our ability to successfully evaluate investments in new businesses and growth initiatives; (8) contamination of our water supplies and damage to or failure of our water equipment and infrastructure; (9) the risk of work stoppages, strikes and other work-related actions; (10) catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, acts of terrorism, physical attacks, cyber attacks, epidemics or similar events ; (11) changes in general economic, political, business and financial conditions; (12) the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which may be affected by various factors, including credit ratings, changes in interest rates, compliance with regulatory requirements, compliance with the terms and conditions of our outstanding debt, and general market and economic conditions; and (13) legislative and general market and economic developments. Risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause SJW Group’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

One-quarter results are not indicative of full-year results due to seasonality and other factors. Other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially are described in SJW Group’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance and speak only as of the date they are made. SJW Group undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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