Southwest Harbor on a sunny spring day in May of 2016. Credit: Micky Bedell

The federal government is investing more than $46 million in improvements to water systems in three Maine communities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making the money available in the form of grants and loans for water infrastructure projects in Southwest Harbor, Bridgton and Rockland. About $20 million of the total is coming from grants and the rest is from loans.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King say the investments are very important for communities that are well known for their natural beauty. They say the work will protect the environment in the three communities.

The Bridgton project is the biggest investment of the three and will cost more than $20 million, split almost evenly between loans and grants. The project would rehabilitate Bridgton’s wastewater treatment system.