The Distribution Crew is staffed by a General Foreman, a Foreman, an Equipment Operator, a Crew Leader, and three System Maintenance Technicians. Their job descriptions require them to be licensed by the State of Maine Dept. of Health & Human Services. Our Crew is specially trained to maintain the water distribution system & make emergency repairs when needed. Some of our daily activities consist of installing/repairing water services, fire hydrants, gate valves and seasonal lines and water mains. Most new water mains are installed by private contractors with our staff on hand to inspect all phases of the installation for quality control. To maintain water quality the crew exercises our annual watermain flushing program that starts in March and usually runs until the end of May.
The York Water District maintains 98+ miles of seasonal and year-round distribution and transmission piping, two water storage tanks and two small, pressurized high service zones supplied by booster pumping stations and two booster stations to manage our emergency interconnections with neighboring utilities. We have the ability to receive water from or provide water to the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District to our north, or the Kittery Water District to the south. This valuable option has helped us in the past during emergencies like drought conditions, algal blooms and during planned projects. All communities served by the three utilities have benefited from this collaboration.
For many years the District has had an aggressive watermain replacement program, so now a good portion of our water mains in the system are ductile iron water pipe. We do however have some cast iron water mains that remain. Water main pipe sizes range from 2 to 16 inches in diameter.
Over the past several years we have used some high-density polyethylene pipe. The use of poly allows our crews to be very creative and efficient while changing out certain water main replacement projects.
One Example: Annually crews had to flush (waste approximately 13 million gallons annually) the end of Freeman Street to maintain water quality. Fire hydrants near the end of Freeman Street could only produce 500 gallons per minute in the event of a fire. In 2016, we were successful in slip lining (sliding in an 8-inch HD polyethylene line into a pre-1929 10-inch cast iron water main) 2,300 feet of pipe. This method provided a savings of over $100,000. Additionally, we installed a new watermain on Bayhaven Road and connected the 2 mains. This effort eliminated the need to waste 13 million gallons annually and increased available fire flows to 3600 gallons per minute.
The system provides 377 Public and 68 private fire hydrants, and there are also 131 private fire services for various properties throughout town that range from 2 to 10 inches.
The Distribution system utilizes two water storage tanks are designed to maintain system pressure and provide an adequate supply of water in case of a fire:
a two-million- gallon storage tank on York Heights (that was rehabilitated in 2016 at a cost of $685,000).
and a three-million- gallon storage tank on Simpson Hill (that was rehabilitated in 2008 at a cost of $563,000) in Cape Neddick.
After a complete rehab, the life span of the coating system on our storage tanks is expected to last 25-30 years.