A reader in Rockport recently wrote a letter to the editor of the PenBay Pilot and mentioned “the exorbitant increase in my sewer bill.” Maine Water would like to take the opportunity to explain to customers in Camden and Rockport the relationship between your water usage, your water bill, your sewer service and your sewer bill.
The simplest explanation is that water and sewer are two separate services.
Maine Water delivers fresh, clean drinking water. We bill you for that water based in part on how much water you use. The towns provide your sewer service and set the rates for all sewer bills, also based in part on how much water you use.
In the interests of efficiency, the towns of Rockport and Camden contract with Maine Water to provide customer billing and customer service for the town-owned wastewater systems.
These contracts save money for both towns, and free up their staff for more important work.
As an agent for each town, Maine Water prints and mails sewer bills, collects payments and answers customer questions about sewer bills. Working in cooperation with staff at the Town Office, we always try to help answer any questions customers may have about their bills, whether those questions are about the drinking water portion of the bill, or the sewer portion.
Maine Water does not operate the town wastewater systems, nor do we determine what you must pay for those services. Maine Water’s logo is on your wastewater bill as an agent for the Town, which can lead to occasional misunderstandings.
A few months ago, The Pilot published several articles about the Town of Rockport increasing their sewer rates, explaining all the factors that led the Town to reach its rate decisions. On August 9, the Pilot published “Wastewater Update” by Rockport’s Finance Director, an excellent and very thorough explanation of the town’s wastewater infrastructure challenges.
We would like to thank the PenBay Pilot for their continued efforts to publish information on this topic. The paper has done a great job trying to help folks understand that Maine Water assists both Camden and Rockport with billing services, but that the towns own and operate their own wastewater systems.
Maine Water’s Camden-Rockland Division is the public water utility for Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Owls Head, Warren, and Union. Our mission is to deliver exceptional customer service.
We urge customers to call the Maine Water customer service team at (800) 287-1643 for any questions about their drinking water bill. If you are also served by the Rockport or Camden sewer system, our customer service team is always ready to try and help with any questions about those bills as well.
Mike Ames is Superintendent of Maine Water