In 1875, Bangor officials
contracted with the Holly Co. for the installation of 76,951 feet of water
mains to be used for domestic, industrial and fire protection utilizing
water from the Penobscot River. Many of these lines are still in
The City had experienced typhoid epidemics nearly every year in the late
part of the 1800's and early part of this century. In 1908, the City
government appointed a citizen committee to ascertain the cause of the
problem, and during the investigation it was noted that among the local
schools, only those using "City" water had an incident of the
disease. Other signs also indicated that the water supply was the
principal carrier. To correct this situation, a filter plant was begun in
1904 and completed in 1910. This plant utilized coagulation,
sedimentation, and filtration, and was capable of handling 8,000,000
gallons of water per day. Later, chlorination facilities were installed to
provide disinfection. Orderly growth of the system continued until 1957
when it was agreed--after long debate--that Bangor must switch its water
supply from the river (heavily polluted by upstream dumping of sewage and
mill waste) to some other source if the quality or water provided to the
citizens was to be improved.
An act of the Maine Legislature in 1957 created the Bangor Water District,
which was approved in a City referendum. After formation of a Board of
Trustees, the title to the City water system was handed to the new water
district. In essence, the act authorized the District to control a number
of ponds to supply water to Bangor and surrounding towns. Floods Pond in
Otis was chosen following careful testing over a number of years by the
District. A total of $4,000,000 in Series "A" bonds financed
construction of a new pump station at Floods Pond and a transmission line
from the pond to Bangor.
With the new system in operation in 1959, the water-powered Deane Pump
located in the old water works building on the Penobscot River gave way to
electric turbine pumps at Johnston Pump Station at Floods Pond.
Subsequently the old filter plant building on State Street was converted
to work shops and storage space, and a new office building was
constructed. The "new" water from Floods Pond was of such high
quality that it did not require extensive treatment to place it in a ready
state for consumption.
Through the past three decades, increasingly sophisticated equipment has
been added to District facilities, the Thomas Hill Standpipe has become a
National Historic landmark, and customers have been changed from
"flat rate" to "metered" service to provide more
equitable distribution of charges and to encourage conservation.
In 1995, a new treatment plant was constructed on the access road to
Floods Pond in response to changing federal regulations. The plant
utilizes ozone--instead of chlorine--as the primary disinfectant, and
chloramines (a combination of chlorine and ammonia) as a secondary
In 2002, at the invitation of the Town of Orrington, BWD expanded its
existing service area. The
Town completed a 3500-foot extension of BWDs line serving customers
along Rt. 15, funded by grant monies obtained by the municipality.
The new 12-inch pipe will provide water service to 70 or more
potential customers, and interconnects with City of Brewers water
distribution system for emergency use.