***KKW Receives Prestigious MEMIC Safety Award***

Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells (KK&W) Water District was recently honored with an award for exceptional on-the-job safety performance during The MEMIC Group’s Annual Meeting of Policyholders. Only eight employers, out of more than 21,000 MEMIC policyholders across the country, received a 2019 award for workplace safety from the workers’ compensation insurance specialist.

 

KK&W Water District was established in 1921 and extends 25 miles along the York County coastline, the second longest water utility service area in Maine. Their 42 employees are dedicated to the mission of providing the highest quality of water and customer service at the lowest reasonable cost.

 

“Our experience modification factor right now is almost unheard of at 0.60,” said Assistant Superintendent Scott Minor of KK&W Water District. The experience “mod” is a measure of how well an employer performs compared to others with the same job classification.

 

“Anything less than 1.0 is good, but you can’t really get better than KK&W,” said MEMIC Safety Management Consultant Alexis Westin. “Their mod factor means they really care about safety and have successfully prevented expensive injuries. That’s great for their employees and their customers.”

 

Minor said MEMIC offers most of the safety training they need as well as additional resources specific to their operations. “Alexis participates at our safety committee meeting level. She’s a wonderful resource.”

 

“Besides myself, we’ve utilized other MEMIC safety experts to address risks such as rigging and chainsaw safety,” said Westin. “KK&W’s continuous improvement mindset also helped them received the Maine Department of Labor’s Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE).”

**UPDATED 11/15/18: Kennebunk River Well PFAS Information**

Updated November 15, 2018

 

The Full-scale (700 gallon per minute) PFAS removal pilot filter system at the Kennebunk River Well has been operating very well since it was placed into service on June 8th.  To date, the granulated activated carbon (GAC) filters have produced 150 million gallons of excellent quality, PFAS-free water.  We fully expect that our goal of 250 million gallons of PFAS-free water per year from these filters will be achieved.  As a result, we are moving ahead with the (in-house) design of a permanent structure to house the pilot filters, which with minor modifications will be placed into service on a permanent basis in 2019.  It is expected that the total capital cost of the filters and related infrastructure will be about $1.3 million, with an annual operating cost (for GAC replacement) of about $60,000.  As reported earlier, we still feel comfortable that this PFAS removal system will impact our customers’ water rates by about 2.5%, which will be implemented over the next couple years.  We will have more information on this topic in our upcoming semi-annual issue of What’s on Tap, scheduled to be mailed to all of our customers in January 2019.  Meanwhile, feel free to contact Norm Labbe for more information.

 

Article From Bloomberg: Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water

 


 

Updated June 8, 2018

 

The Kennebunk River Well is back on line

 

(Includes excerpts from KK&W’s summer edition of What’s on Tap, to be published June 25, 2018)

 

As reported in our winter 2018 edition of What’s on Tap, we are pleased to announce that we have made great progress with the removal of PFAS from the Kennebunk River Well (KRW).  Recently, as a result of extensive pilot testing regarding the best treatment technologies to remove the trace amounts of PFAS, we have partnered with Evoqua Water Technologies to move ahead with a full scale, online 700 gallon per minute pilot test that is being placed in service today, June 8, 2018.  It will run for at least 6 months (processing over 180 million gallons).  This will confirm that the technology will work effectively under “real world” operating conditions before making the decision to invest the estimated $1.3 million that is required to put the KRW permanently back on line.

 

In anticipation of a successful full scale pilot test, the District has already been preapproved by the Maine Drinking Water Program to receive a $1.3M low interest State Revolving Fund loan (20 year term at about a 1% interest rate) that will be used to purchase the filtration system and construct a permanent enclosure around the pressure vessels and other ancillary equipment.

 

The total cost of this remediation, including debt service and annual operating costs, will ultimately result in an overall water rate impact of about 2 to 2-1/2% (about 2 to 3 cents per day for the average residential customer), which shouldn’t take effect for a couple years.  From a waterworks perspective, this is a fraction of what a “typical” water utility would pay to resolve such an issue.

 

More detailed information will soon be mailed to all of our customers in late June in the summer 2018 edition of What’s on Tap.  As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.

 


 

Originally Posted February 14, 2018

 

In November of 2012, after several years of negotiating, testing, applications, approvals and permits, the Kimball Lane Well (also known as the Kennebunk River Well, or KRW) was placed into service.  The well ran flawlessly since that time, providing approximately one fourth of the District’s total water supply needs.  By all accounts it was producing the best quality of water of any public water groundwater supply in the region.

 

On April 15, 2016, the District was notified by the Maine Drinking Water Program that a small amount of two man-made chemicals (PFOS and PFOA) were detected in the KRW. The information submitted with the notification described the family of chemicals (known as PFAS) in some detail.  Being that the level detected was 0.05 parts per billion (which is the same as 50 parts per trillion, or 50 PPT) and that the then current EPA-established Health Advisory Level (HAL) was 200 PPT for PFOS and 400 for PFOA, the detection didn’t raise much concern at the time.  After all, the sampling was taken as part of the USEPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, Phase 3 (UCMR-3), which is essentially a forward-looking investigation into the existence of chemical contaminants that might be regulated by the USEPA at some point in the future.

 

On May 25, 2016 the USEPA announced, in the Federal Register, that it had lowered the HAL to 70 PPT for PFOS and PFOA.  Although we fully understood that the HAL was based upon a lifetime of exposure to these contaminants, the lower HAL prompted us to investigate the issue to find the source of the contaminants and to also determine the likely fate of the KRW as a long-term source of water.   We began our own testing of the KRW and of its surrounding monitoring wells for PFOS and PFOA in an attempt to find the source of the contaminants. Being that the relatively new and elaborate test had a 25 to 30-day turn-around time, it took several months to finally determine what direction the contaminants were coming from.  The determination (which later proved to be accurate) was that the contaminants came from material that was spread on a farm field in Arundel, across the Kennebunk River from the District’s KRW.   In November of 2016 we notified the farmer of the issue and supplied him with some pertinent information on the topic.

 

During this process we were also educating ourselves about these contaminants, including scientific, regulatory and societal perspectives.  By February of 2017 we chose to shut down the KRW as a precautionary measure.  Our justification for doing so was multi-faceted, and can be best explained as follows:

  1. There was ongoing discussion, on state and federal levels as to the appropriateness of 70 PPT as the HAL. Some states were proposing 20 PPT or less.
  2. In dealing with the EPA and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) it was becoming increasingly apparent that any regulatory direction (in the form of new guidance or standards) was not going to occur for months, if not years.
  3. We weren’t in desperate need of the well during the low-demand winter months and we could shift the load to our Branch Brook Filtration Plant until more information was available or until the issue was resolved

Since shutting down the KRW, we have begun conducting pilot studies to determine the best and most cost-effective process for the long-term removal of the contaminants from KRW’s water.  When it comes to water quality, we have a long history of consistently erring on the side of caution, deferring to our in-house motto, “When in doubt, leave it out”.

 

At about that time we also began a more intensive dialog with the DEP and provided all of our information and findings to them for their investigation into the source(s) of the contamination.  Several months later they issued a Phase 1 report, which confirmed our findings; the contamination came from the spreading of paper mill ash and/or sludge on the neighboring farm fields about 30 years ago, which was approved by the DEP at that time.  Being that this study was described by the DEP as being preliminary, the District agreed to their request that the study and its results not be publicized until the purportedly more conclusive Phase 2 study was completed.  With this understanding but with EPA’s requirement that we post any detected UCMR-3 results on our annually published Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), we informed the DEP that we needed to comply with our primary regulatory agency’s requirements. The DEP then requested to see what we were going to publish. We then submitted our draft CCR to them.

 

As time went by we were becoming concerned that the DEP Phase 2 report had not yet been completed and were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with our prior agreement with the DEP, especially in light of news reports of related incidents involving PFAS in the region.  We informed them of our concern.  On July 28th, 2017 the DEP gave us their Phase 2 report.  From our perspective, it provided no conclusive insight into the issue.  We then realized that we were really on our own. Being that a local dairy farm had been shut down and that some legal action had been threatened between some of the other involved parties, we found ourselves in a very uncomfortable position.  Even though we had done the right thing for our customers by erring on the side of caution, we were uncomfortable and frustrated with the whole situation.

 

After much deliberation we then decided to go public with what we knew.  The plan was to roll it out in January of 2018.   We were to time a public presentation with the publication of our semi-annual newsletter, What’s on Tap, along with a presentation at the Maine Water Utilities Association’s annual convention in Portland. Everything was executed as planned, with the exception of the publication of the newsletter, which is now being printed and should be in our customers’ hands by around February 25th.

 

In closing, by having only operated the Kennebunk River Well on a seasonal basis for just over four years and with the average levels of PFOS and PFOA at about 50 parts per trillion (which was less than those of the USEPA’s lifelong exposure health advisory), we want our customers to know that we are confident their health was not adversely affected in any way by these trace chemical contaminants.

 

Chronological Trustee Meeting Minutes Excerpts relating to PFAS

 

For more information please contact Norm Labbe, Superintendent, at 207-985-3385 or at nlabbe@kkw.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do We Have Your Current Contact Info?

MOVED RECENTLY OR CHANGED YOUR CELL PHONE CARRIER?

 

Sometimes we need to reach out to you regarding your account and find that your information is outdated. Please contact our office at your convenience (207.985.3385) to ensure we have the most up-to-date telephone number, mailing, and email address. We appreciate it!

OFFICE CLOSED JULY 4th AND 5th

The KK&W business office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th and Friday July 5th for Independence Day.  If you have a water-related emergency during this time period, please contact our treatment plant at 207-985-2362.

2019 Spring Flushing Updates

5/13/19:

The end is in sight! Last Friday we were able to flush 50 hydrants which will give us a fighting chance at finishing up the spring flushing today. The plan is to head out first thing this morning and flush Mills Road and Pier Road before heading over to flush Skipper Joes Point and Marshall Point. From there, we will be flushing all of Kings Highway to Sand Point before finishing up the last two hydrants on the suction side of Granite Point. Thank you for working with us during this spring flushing season, we hope you have a great Monday.

 

5/10/19:

Yesterday we were not able to make it as far as we planned, flushing only 28 hydrants for the day. Today we will try to catch up a little bit and plan to flush the rest of Old Fort, Summit Ave, and Ocean Avenue. From there we will be going to Turbots Creek Road and then flush School Street back to Maine Street and a few side roads along the way. My hope is to have enough time at the end of the day to flush Wildes District Road as well, which will give us a fighting chance of finishing up the spring flushing on Monday. Hope you have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend.

 

5/9/19:

Yesterday we were able to flush the 40 hydrants that were needed to allow us to start in Dock Square first thing today. We will then be flushing Ocean Street out to the Colony Hotel and then Maine Street to South Maine Street to the back side of the Colony Hotel. From there we will work our way down Old Fort and Summit back to Ocean Avenue and flush our way toward the Bush Compound. Hope you have a great Thursday.

 

5/8/19:

Some days are good, some days are great, some days are super awesome! Yesterday, with some good team work and a lot of cooperating hydrants, we had that super awesome day flushing a total of 66 hydrants. Today the plan is to finish flushing the town of Kennebunk which will include Ross Road, Huntington Commons, Powdermill Drive, and Route 1 heading into Arundel out to the Cottage Preserve Development. From there we will be flushing River Road to North Street and a few side roads so that we can be set up to flush Dock Square first thing tomorrow morning. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

5/7/19:

Yesterday, we were able to flush another 40 hydrants, making it to the end of Boothby Road. This morning we will be finishing up the flushing around the beach including Ridge Lane, Oak Street, Sea Garden Circle, Admirals Way, Sea Fields and Great Hill Road. From there we will be heading back to Storer Street to flush both Storer Street and Fletcher Street back toward the new booster by the high school. If time allows at the end of the day we will begin to work our way down Route 1 starting at the Atria and heading toward Hannaford. The plan is to be able to finish up the flushing in Kennebunk tomorrow hope you have a great Tuesday.

 

5/6/19:

Last Friday we were able to flush 35 hydrants, which finished up Sea Road. Today we will be doing a power flush on Route 9 before flushing our way down Western Avenue toward Beach Avenue.  If everything goes well, from there our plan will be to flush Beach Avenue all the way to Boothby Road, which will include Fairfield Drive and Bayberry Avenue. Hope you have a great Monday.

 

5/3/19:

We were able to flush 29 hydrants yesterday, finishing up Port Road by the end of the day. Today we will be on Sea Road and the plan is to flush all the way to Route 9 as well as all of the various side streets and developments along the way. Hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to stop by and visit us at our open house during the May Day festivities on Saturday!

 

5/2/19:

Flushing continues to go smoothly with another 39 hydrants in the books yesterday. Today we will be flushing Port Road to Christensen Lane in Lower Village, which will include the River Locks Development. From there we will begin to flush Sea Road and see how far we can get by the end of the day. Hope you have a great Thursday.

 

5/1/19:

Yesterday, we were able to flush a total of 47 hydrants, finishing up the West Kennebunk section of town. Today we will start by flushing the turnpike rest area on the North side, followed by Old Alewive Road, Fletcher Street to the high school, Intervale Road, and a small section of Ross Road. From there we will be heading down town to flush Main Street starting at Duffy’s and working our way toward the fire station. If things continue to go well we will try to get Water Street, Factory Pasture Lane, Gove Street, Winter Street, and Depot Street to wrap up the day. Hope you have a great Wednesday.

 

4/30/19:

Yesterday we were able to flush another 43 hydrants, making it exactly as far as we thought we would. Today we will finish up Cat Mousam Road, Coventry Woods and Spiller Drive before we head back to West Kennebunk. We will then be flushing Alewive Road (Route 35) back toward Kimball Lane, which will include Independence Park, Alewive Business Park, the Elementary School, and Higgins Drive. Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday.

 

4/29/19:

Last Friday the rain held off enough for us to flush Route 1, High Street and Cat Mousam Road, totaling 43 hydrants for the day. Today we will be flushing Brown Street all the way to the railroad crossing before jumping to Maple Avenue in West Kennebunk where we will flush all of Alfred Road. This will also include flushing Remington Way and the fire station on Thompson Road as well as flushing Mill Street and Cat Mousam Road back toward the turnpike bridge. Have a great Monday.

 

4/26/19:

With a beautiful sunny day, some good planning, and cooperation we were able to flush 41 hydrants yesterday, which completed the flushing in Biddeford Pool. Today, the weather does not look to be as nice, but we will be in Kennebunk starting at the Treatment Plant and work our way North on Route 1 toward the downtown area. Once we reach the edge of down town near Cumberland Farms, we will turn and flush High Street out to Harriseckett Road and all of the various side streets along the way. If time allows (and our spirits are not completely drenched), we may even begin to flush Cat Mousam Road toward Sylvan Circle. Hope you have a fabulous Friday and great weekend.

 

4/25/19:

Yesterday we were able to flush 44 hydrants, bringing the spring flushing season for Wells and Ogunquit to completion. Today, with some up-coming work expected at our Biddeford Pool tank, we will be flushing in that area in order to make sure we are ready. We will be starting on Bridge Road and flushing toward Fortunes Rocks Road, following it all the way back to Granite Point Road to the discharge side of our booster including Sea Spray Drive. From there, we will be going to Mile Stretch Road and begin flushing toward Lester B Orcutt Boulevard. If we have enough time we will flush as much of Biddeford Pool as we can today and finish up the hydrants that are left tomorrow. Have a great Thursday.

 

4/24/19:

After taking some time yesterday for some Treatment Plant tours and educational outreach we will be heading out early this morning to resume flushing in Ogunquit. We will be flushing Shore Road down to Perkins Cove and then out to the Cliff House. This will also include Israel Head Road, Stearns Road, Frazier Pasture, and Oarweed Road. From there we will work to finish up the spring flushing in Ogunquit today by flushing School Street, Agamenticus Road, Josias Lane, Long Farm Road and the rest of Route 1 to the York town line. This is a fairly large section that we are trying to complete today and we will work as quickly as we can to get through this area. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to accomplish this task with as minimal disruption as possible. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thank you, hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

4/23/19:

Just a quick reminder that there will be no flushing today. We will resume flushing tomorrow morning bright and early on Shore Road. Yesterday, we were able to flush 42 hydrants for the day, which will hopefully allow us to finish up the rest of the flushing in the town of Ogunquit tomorrow. Hope you have a terrific Tuesday.

 

4/22/19:

Last Friday, we were able flush 35 hydrants, which finished up the flushing in the town of Wells. This morning we will begin flushing in the town of Ogunquit. This will have us starting on Berwick Road near our water tanks and make our way North on Route 1 toward Tatnic Road. Some of the streets that we will be on during the day will include the Windward Development, Beach Street, River Road, Ocean Meadows Condos, and Captain Thomas Road. There will be no flushing on Tuesday of this week so by the end of the day our plan is to put ourselves in a position where we will be able to start flushing Shore Road on Wednesday morning. Hope you have a great Monday.

 

4/19/19:

While working in congested areas and taking the time to run out all the hose we have on the truck, insuring the water went where it was suppose to go, we were able to flush 18 hydrants yesterday. This morning, we will be flushing Ocean Avenue, Bourne Avenue, Old County Road, and Royal Heights. From there we will be heading back to Sanford Road (109) and begin to work our way toward our Wells Standpipe. If things go well we will be able to finish up the 35 remaining hydrants in the town of Wells today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, a happy Easter, and you can look for us to be back at it first thing Monday morning.

 

4/18/19:

We were able to flush 32 hydrants yesterday, finishing up all of Drakes Island by the end of the day. This morning we will be flushing Atlantic Avenue, Webhannet Drive, Eldridge Road, and Ocean Avenue to start the day. Hopefully, time will allow us to also flush Bourne Avenue, Old County Road and Royal Heights as well. This will put us in a good position to finish up the flushing in the town of Wells tomorrow and head into Ogunquit.

 

4/17/19:

Amidst fair skies and gusty winds we were able to exceed our own expectations and flush 43 hydrants yesterday making it to the booster station in the Forest Development. Today we will finish flushing The Forest and Sea Glass developments before heading back to Laudholm Farm, where we will begin to flush the more coastal mains and hydrants. Today this will include Drakes Island, Atlantic Avenue, and, if time allows, we may even make it to Webhannet Drive. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

4/16/19:

Yesterday we had a very good day and were able to flush 32 hydrants, making it to the Nautical Mile by Congdon’s. This morning we will be flushing York County Community College as well as in and around the Hannaford plaza before heading to Route 9B. From there we will flush Wells Highlands, Summer Village, and Beach Dreams. If time allows at the end of the day we may even begin to flush the first part of The Forest. Have a great Tuesday.

 

4/15/19:

Today, we will begin our annual spring flushing program. First thing this morning we will finish equipping the truck with all of our hoses and tools that we will need before we embark from the Treatment plant south along Route 1. Our first stop will be the developments that are off of Harriseckett and Bypass Roads. From there we will be flushing the first hydrant on Route 9, before continuing south toward the intersection of 109 and Route 1, flushing the various side roads and developments as we move along. The plan is to try and make it to at least Harbor Road today, but if things go well we will continue as far as time will allow.

 

As always our goal is to work as safely and as quickly as possible through these areas, insuring that the hydrants are working properly and that the water quality is what you have come to expect from KKW. We thank you for your patience through this process as we work to get through this flushing season with as minimal disruptions as possible. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call. Have a marvelous Monday.