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Many water utilities in Maine were originally developed to provide fire protection.
  • Drinking water was a secondary consideration.

  • When a water utility is chartered to provide fire protection, the utility’s water main pipe size is often 2-3 times larger than if it provided drinking water alone.


Common water utility infrastructure includes:
  • Water Source (well, pond, river)

  • Water Treatment Facilities (filtration, chlorination, pumping, etc.)

  • Pumping Stations

  • Water Mains

  • Storage Tanks (provide pressure and large amounts of water)

  • Fire Hydrants

  • Water Services

  • Water Meters

  • Interconnections with Neighboring Utilities


Why should the municipalities pay for fire protection charges?
  • Fire protection service is largely a stand-by service, the costs of which are principally the costs of providing capacity and holding it in readiness to furnish water at any time a fire breaks out.

  • Most of the important municipal services are in town centers, as are most water utilities service areas.

  • Fire protection provided by the District is used to help safeguard public buildings that all taxpayers use.

  • The distribution system cost allocated to fire protection is the difference between existing cost and the hypothetical cost of the system without providing fire protection.

  • There is sometimes a decrease in insurance rates when fire protection is available.

  • York is considered a Protection Class 4.

    • This rating provides a 4% reduction for fire insurance for commercial properties.


Largely in part to the last ISO (Insurance Services Office) report, credit is based on the strength of our Public Water Supply and fire hydrants, as well as the strength of both fire departments.

ISO allocates credit by evaluating the following 3 major features:

  • Fire Alarm and Communication System - This review accounts for 10% of the total classification which centers upon a community’s facilities and support for handling and dispatching fire alarms.

  • Fire Department - This review accounts for 50% of the total classification which focuses upon items such as engine companies, ladder or service companies, distribution on fire stations and fire companies, equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, department manning, and training.

  • Water Supply System - This review accounts for 40% of the total classification highlighting the water supply a community uses fire suppression, including hydrant size, type, and installation, as well as the inspection frequency and condition of fire hydrants.

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