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June 27, 2023

Collins, King Attend North Windham Wastewater Project Groundbreaking Ceremony

New wastewater facility made possible by $2 million in Congressionally Directed Spending

NORTH WINDHAM, ME—Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Angus King visited the town of Windham for the groundbreaking of a new wastewater treatment facility. The new facility will allow for the expansion of business development in Maine’s Lakes Region while protecting community members from contaminants like PFAS. The Maine Senators secured $2,000,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending for the project through the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations legislation passed by Congress last December. On Thursday, Senator Collins announced nearly $25 million from the RAISE grant program for safety and mobility improvements along U.S. Route 302 and State Routes 35 & 115 in North Windham, which will directly benefit access to the water treatment facility.

“Windham is the gateway to Maine’s beautiful lakes region and is a major retail center for the surrounding communities. This funding will improve our community’s infrastructure, help our economy, and enhance the quality of life for residents across our state,” said Senator Collins. “As the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I strongly advocated for these projects, which will deliver substantial benefits to Cumberland County.”

“Windham is among Maine’s most vibrant communities; it’s a wonderful place to start a business, raise a family, or visit for vacation,” said Senator King. “This new wastewater facility will help the Town modernize its infrastructure to attract new businesses and provide families with a high-quality of life– all while carefully preserving local ecosystems. I was proud to support funding for this project and look forward to watching Windham’s growth for years to come.”

“Maintaining the high quality of Maine’s water is essential to the “Maine brand,” our quality of life, a healthy environment, and a strong economy,” said Melanie Loyzim, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. “The Department is pleased to assist with funding for this clean water project through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to ensure Maine will continue to be known for having some of the best water quality in the country.”

The new wastewater treatment facility will use state-of-the-art technology called a Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) which utilizes innovative drip dispersal. This is the first project with drip dispersal of this scale in the state of Maine. It will support economic growth, improve the quality of local groundwater and waterways, and allow for new athletic facilities at area schools. It will also permit for the future retirement of the aging treatment facility serving the schools.

The facility comes at a time when economic growth in Windham has been stalled due to the lack of a community wastewater disposal system. Studies have also found an increase in pollution in the groundwater, threatening the quality of well water and the environment. The community approved the project in 2022 with a total cost of $40.6 million.

“This new North Windham sewer system is 40 years overdue and will solve long standing environmental and economic challenges for Windham. The advanced MBR system will provide for a cleaner environment and be a model for other Maine communities to follow. This system will support business growth, new job opportunities and affordable housing options. And this new growth combined with our state and federal funding partners will guarantee no tax rate increase for our residents even with an expense of 38.6 million dollars. This is remarkable feat for all involved and something Windham and the region can be proud of,” Councilor Jarrod Maxfield stated.

“We are pleased to partner with the Town of Windham to address longstanding development and environmental protection challenges. The new MBR treatment facility will have profound positive impacts on the community,” stated Portland Water District General Manager Seth Garrison.

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