1862, a group of citizens foresaw the necessity of improving the water
supply to the Portland community to ensure continued growth. The private
wells, once adequate, were no longer sufficient for increasing domestic
and fire protection use. These citizens formed the Portland Water
Company. In 1869, the first water flowed from Sebago Lake to Portland,
and the first water service was turned on in Portland on Thanksgiving
In 1908, the Portland Water District bought the Portland Water Company
plant and the Standish Water and Construction Company and began serving
the cities of Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook, the town of
Cape Elizabeth, the Gorham Water Company, and the Falmouth Water Company.
In the 20 or so years that followed, expansion continued including
the amendment of the Portland Water District's charter to supply water
to the towns of Cumberland, Falmouth, and Gorham, and to the islands
in Casco Bay.
the next 45 years, Greater Portland established itself as an industrial
and financial center of the state. The growth in the Portland area
required several expansions of the Portland Water District's plant,
including construction of water supply systems to serve North Windham,
Steep Falls, Standish Village, and Standish Corner.
During the 1960s, the Portland Water District offered to handle and
treat the region’s wastewater as a logical extension of its
role as the regional water supply agency. Since then, the District
has constructed treatment plants in Portland (1979), Westbrook (1978),
Little Falls (1987), Cape Elizabeth (1987), and Peaks Island (1993).
The plants serve the cities of Portland and Westbrook and towns of
Gorham, Windham, and Cape Elizabeth. In addition, the District began
providing wastewater maintenance and operating services to the town
of Cumberland (1984).
the 1990s and 2000s, the District has been faced with the increasing
requirements mandated by the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts.
A new disinfection plant has been constructed at Sebago Lake (1994)
and several major modifications have been made within the Portland
and Westbrook wastewater systems.
We are proud of our history of successfully meeting customer’s
commitments. We are proud to play a part in providing cost effective
services, clean water, constant service, and a clean environment.
We hope you also take Pride in Pure Water!