There is a blue-green stain where my water drips into my sink. What causes this?

This stain comes from the chemical copper. Copper is present in your home plumbing and can dissolve into the drinking water. If you would like to have your water tested for copper, or lead, please contact a customer service representative at the Portland Water District.

What is the Portland Water District's position on fluoride?

Maine law mandates that a public water system must add fluoride to the water if a majority of customers votes to do so. The customers of the Portland Water District voted to have their water fluoridated in 1996 and, as required, the District began fluoridating soon thereafter. The method we use to add fluoride, the fluoride-containing chemical we use, and the means of monitoring the level of fluoride all meet drinking water industry standards and were approved by the Maine Drinking Water Program prior to being put into use.


Should I buy bottled water?

The Portland Water District water is of excellent quality and it meets all federal drinking water standards. However, those immuno-compromised, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people undergoing organ transplants, people with AIDS/HIV or other immune system disorders, or some elderly and infants, should consult a doctor. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain small amounts of contaminants.

Is tap water suitable for use in a home kidney dialysis machine?

No, not without further treatment. In a kidney dialysis machine, the water used is brought into close contact with the patient's blood. Thus, the quality requirements are far stricter than those for ordinary drinking water. Aluminum, fluoride, and chloramine are examples of substances that are not acceptable in water used for kidney dialysis. Kidney dialysis centers are kept informed about water quality and are able to give advice on this matter.

Should I use a home water filter?

Our water meets all drinking water standards and doesn’t require additional treatment beyond what it already receives; however the choice to use a home filtration system is yours to make. Home filtration products can reduce chlorine levels and water cloudiness, which some would prefer not to taste, smell or see. In some cases, these filtration products can also remove metals such as lead and copper that could dissolve in the water during contact with household plumbing.


Where can I find additional information about the quality of my tap water?

The Portland Water District publishes annually a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) which reports the levels of all regulated contaminants detected in the drinking water. In addition, the report provides an overview of your drinking water source and its treatment; it is a good tool for making informed choices that affect your health and that of your family.

Why is boating allowed on the southern end of the lake but swimming is not allowed?

The PWD doesn’t allow boats, the State doesn’t prohibit them. Only the legislature could prohibit them and they have not chosen to do so.

Petroleum products like gas and oil tend to float and evaporate quickly. Bacteria and viruses from human contact are more evasive and persistent, therefore, they are more likely to contaminate the water. Within 3,000 feet of the water intakes, there is NO trespassing - not even boating.

Who owns the boat launch in Standish and what are the plans for the future?

The PWD owns all land around the boat launch except for a 99-foot right of way (ROW) to the water which is owned by the town of Standish. The PWD has begun to revegetate the land around the 99-foot ROW to improve water quality in Lower Bay.

Over the years the PWD has presented more than six boat launch relocation proposals to the Standish Town Council. The most recent proposal was voted down by the people in 2003.


Why does the PWD allow ice fishing inside the 2-mile limit?

PWD does not have the authority to limit ice fishing. The state allows ice fishing and is the only entity that can limit it. The state did pass a law prohibiting cars and trucks from being on the ice within 2 miles of the water intakes. This was passed after a truck broke through the ice.

In an attempt to limit the impact of ice fishing on water quality, the PWD conducts patrols during the ice fishing season, asking fishermen to use porta-potties located at the shore and to fuel ice fishing equipment on shore rather than on the ice.

Why is the PWD concerned about invasive aquatic plants?

An invasive plant infestation of the lake could lead to water quality problems, including (1) the illegal use of aquatic herbicides; (2) an accelerated increase in lake productivity and resulting decrease in water quality; and (3) more organic matter impacting intake and treatment equipment