Portland Water District customers saw significant benefit from water assistance program


A total of 241 Portland Water District customers received nearly $290,000 in benefits through the two-year-old Maine Water Assistance Program.

The federally funded program, designed to help income-eligible households maintain vital drinking water and wastewater services, targeted customers with unpaid bill balances, property liens for water utility non-payment, and those facing disconnection notices.

The number of customers served – 242 – was the highest amount of any water utility in Maine. The average amount of assistance was $1,179 per qualified customer. The exact total of assistance was $284,230.

Portland Water District promoted the program via its website and newsletter and sent letters to eligible customers with unpaid bills.

“We realize these are tough economic times for some of our customers,” said Seth Garrison, Portland Water District’s General Manager. “And we know the PWD provides critical services that our customers cannot live without.

“We were proud to have been able to market the program to make sure that our customers were fully aware of the available funds, and we’re pleased to have helped a significant number of them.”

The limited-time program was made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act. It allotted $4.7 million in Maine specifically to help people maintain water utility services. The Portland Water District partnered with MaineHousing, which administered the program, to provide a straightforward option for customers to get the assistance they needed.