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Hazen Selected to Design New Treatment Facility

Maine Water continues to invest millions to upgrade the public drinking water system in Southern Maine.

After a competitive review process, Maine Water has selected Hazen ( for the engineering design services necessary to build a new water treatment facility near the Saco River in Biddeford.

Hazen is an international engineering firm with over 65 years’ experience in the water industry, specializing in water and wastewater facility design, process optimization and treatment solutions. Recent New England projects include design of the LEED-certified water treatment plant in Portsmouth, NH, and an upgrade to the Stamford (CT) Water Treatment Plant. Rick Knowlton, Maine Water’s vice president of operations, said a variety of considerations factored into Hazen’s selection.

“First, an on-time and on-budget project is paramount,” Knowlton said. “But we were also looking for someone who understands how closely we need to collaborate with our service communities during construction, a process that could take more than three years.”

Knowlton said the new facility, a $50 million investment in the region’s infrastructure, will serve Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough, and will eventually provide drinking water to 50,000 area residents. A unique design consideration of the new facility in Biddeford is that water systems to the west and southwest may soon explore connection options to the Saco River to pursue regional drought protection objectives and water supply and redundancy objectives that southern Maine water utilities, as a group, have studied for over a decade.

“Hazen did a good job of understanding that complex dynamic. We also liked their grasp of increasingly stringent water quality standards, and our insistence on environmental sustainability, including the use of renewable energy at the new facility,” Knowlton said.

Maine Water’s existing treatment facility sits squarely in the flood plain of the Saco River, and is 133 years old. The new facility will be well out of the flood plain, on the western side of South Street in Biddeford.

Knowlton estimates that project design and approvals will take about 18 months, and that actual construction will conclude some time in 2020. Maine Water serves 32,000 customers, or a population of 100,000, in over 20 communities throughout the state of Maine.