Will installing a backflow preventer affect the water pressure in my home?

Possibly. It depends on the location of the assembly, the type of assembly installed, and the amount of water flowing through the assembly.

Why are you updating your Cross Connection Control Program now?

The State of Maine requires that all public drinking water suppliers maintain a cross connection control program and update it every 5 years.  During the recent update, PWD aligned its program with stricter EPA’s guidelines to further protect public safety

What is the cost of backflow prevention devices?

Costs vary from a basic residential backflow preventer to a more complex commercial systems. It is best to contact your plumber and get a quote before work begins. 

If I have a grandfathered fire sprinkler system, do I have to install a backflow preventer right away?

No.  Grandfathered fire sprinkler systems are required to install backflow prevention devices when the systems are upgraded or redevelopment to the property occurs. 

What are substantial renovations?

Substantial renovations are defined as renovations where a building’s plumbing system, including the water service to the building is removed, replaced, or expanded.  Renovations need not involve major structural changes to be considered substantial by the District.

What if I choose not to install a backflow device?

If the Cross Connection Control Program indicates that a property needs a backflow prevention device in order to protect public health, a backflow prevention device will need to be installed in order for the property to continue to be served by PWD. Failure to comply with the PWD Cross Connection Control Program may result in a delay of new service activation or suspension of existing service.  

What is an autoclave and how does it sterilize bottles?

In line with our values to protect the environment through stewardship and action, our lab reuses microbiological sample bottles from our most frequent testing program!  In fact this procedure reduces our plastic waste by over 2,000 bottles a year!!  Staff thoroughly cleans bottles with soap and water and autoclaves them for sterilization.  Autoclaving prepares the bottle for re-use by killing any bacteria that may be in the bottle. 


Do I really need to change out my refrigerator filter every six months? It doesn’t seem to cause any issues.

It may surprise you, but the answer is yes, if the refrigerator or any appliance has a filter, it needs to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s specifications. And here’s why. 


What is Legionella?

Legionella is the bacterium responsible for Legionnaires’ Disease, which has been on the rise since 2000, though the exact number of cases of the disease is difficult to know since the symptoms can be similar to the common cold. Legionnaires’Disease actually can become a serious pneumonia (lung infection).

Is there Legionella in our water?

The Portland Water District has recently conducted tests throughout the distribution system and found no indication of Legionella.  Chloramines, which is the secondary disinfectant used in Portland’s public water supply, is known to effectively kill bacteria.