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Poland Spring Proposes Plan to Extract Millions of Gallons of Water from Sites in Rumford

LEWISTON, Maine - Poland Spring is proposing to expand its water withdrawal operations to Rumford.  The company pitched its plan to the Rumford Water District at a meeting Wednesday night. 

The plan calls for a long-term contract to withdraw up to 150 million gallons from two well sites in the Ellis River watershed.  Mark Dubois is the natural resource manager for the company. "We believe we can sustainably withdraw spring water up there while the district maintains its commitment to serve ratepayers."

The superintendent of the water district says the town will have its own geologist review Poland Spring's data to verify whether it the project can be sustainable or not.  After that the town will hold a public meeting on the plan. 

Poland Spring would also need to approval from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Public Utilities Commission and the Drinking Water Program.  The company currently has eight working spring sites in Maine and Dubois says the business is expanding.

"We are seeing people make healthy choices, dropping soda and picking up more bottles of water.  And as our business grows we'd like to continue our investment in Maine," Dubois says. "And these sites, like the one we're contemplating in Rumford, allows our company to grow, build jobs and invest more in Maine."

Dubois says depending on how much water is withdrawn the town of Rumford could see annual lease and water payments of between $300,000 and $400,000.