Bangor Water

Article Title: The Value of Water

Article Content

Three gallons for a penny.  At the turn of the tap, we provide water for daily use that’s abundant, safe, and reliable.  We also provide water for fire hydrants and fire sprinkler systems.

Our current water rate of $2.79 per hundred cubic foot means customers purchase three gallons of water for a penny.  We have the 20th lowest water rates out of 152 Maine water utilities.

Affordable residential water rates are generally considered to be less than 2.5 percent of median household income.  Our average residential bill is less than a quarter of the 2.5 percent level.

Penobscot County 2016
Median annual household income $45,302.00
2.5 percent $1,132.55
Average annual residential water bill $267.24
Average daily residential water cost $0.73

Consider this:  $1.50 buys

  • One 16-ounce bottle of water
  • 3,600 glasses of tap water

Water is essential for our daily lives – personal use, business growth, and fire protection.  Yet the infrastructure that delivers your water is mostly invisible and frequently forgotten.  Current generations have no memory of typhoid fever outbreaks or other illnesses caused by untreated water.

Investment to maintain water infrastructure has not kept pace with the need.  Bangor Water has 200 miles of pipe in the ground; with an expected lifespan of 100 years, we should be replacing two miles of pipe each year to ensure a sustainable system.  Currently, about 60 miles of pipe is more than 100 years old.  We have begun to move toward the two-mile-per-year goal, increasing our annual pipe renewal rate from one mile less than five years ago.

In addition to pipes (and fire hydrants and valves), we also have standpipes and treatment plants and pump stations to upgrade.

By supporting Bangor Water through your water bill, you’re an important part of guaranteeing clean, safe and reliable water now and for years to come.