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Poland Spring hopes to double its withdrawals from a York County well

Maine Public

Amid a persistent drought in southern Maine, Poland Spring is proposing to double its withdrawals from a well in Hollis to 60 million gallons a year. The company says there’s plenty of water in the local aquifer, even during dry years.

Wednesday evening, the Hollis Planning Board heard a presentation from consulting hydrogeologist Matt Reynolds who was hired by the company to review the plan. Reynolds says the company’s monitoring data shows that the aquifer can support more water extraction.

“Based on that data, we are proposing to increase the withdrawal from Borehole 6 from 30 million gallons a year to 60 million gallons a year," Reynolds says. "Again, that borehole lies within that overall 2,150 acre watershed where that annual average groundwater recharge is about 1,300 million gallons a year.”

The company says it will continue monitoring nearby domestic wells, and increase the monitoring of streams and tributaries for any signs of groundwater depletion.

Poland Spring says the project will not increase truck traffic to the Hollis plant, which averages about 350 trips daily.

But it has met significant local opposition, and the planning board scheduled a public hearing for September 14.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.