In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2019 photo, dairy cows rest outside the home of Fred and Laura Stone at Stoneridge Farm in Arundel, Maine. The farm has been forced to shut down after sludge spread on the land was linked to high levels of PFAS in the milk. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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A great deal of credit should be given to U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for their work in securing  over $68 million in federal funding for Maine for water infrastructure, combating PFAS contamination and removal of lead pipes.

The word “infrastructure” often makes people think of nicely paved roads and bridges but underneath those surfaces there is a labyrinth of critical pipes, valves, catch basins, drains, conduits and more. These systems cost money to maintain but, as they are not seen on a daily basis, the issue often falls by the wayside.

Collins and King understand the need to evaluate and invest in this aging infrastructure before it becomes even more costly to do so. As an employee of the Maine Rural Water Association, I have personally seen their commitments to listening and learning from utilities that routinely face challenges accessing funding. Their insistence that the trillion-dollar federal infrastructure bill include significant aid dedicated to the water and wastewater community is not lost on the industry and likewise, should not be lost on the ratepayers of Maine utilities.

On behalf of the Maine Rural Water Association and the water and wastewater industry in Maine we sincerely thank both Sens. Collins and King, and their staff, for their leadership on this topic and look forward to working with them again soon.

Bradley Sawyer

Director of Government Affairs

Maine Rural Water Association