Gov. Janet Mills held a press conference at the Bangor Water District’s standpipe on Venture Way on Wednesday. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Bangor-area residents will have to wait a little longer to see crystal-clear water running through their taps again after another delay has set back a project to replace a key piece of equipment.

The Bangor Water District’s project to replace its ozone system, which is used to remove the color from water during treatment, has been ongoing since November 2021.

The upgrade to the system was originally slated to be completed by February, but a delay in securing stainless steel parts set the project’s completion back until the end of March.

Now, the new ozone system is installed, but a programming issue discovered during installation will keep it from going online until at least May, said Kathy Moriarty, the Bangor Water District’s general manager.

“We’re getting close to being able to automate our system,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll start flowing this new water soon.”

The water district serves about 11,000 customers in Bangor, Clifton, Eddington, Hampden, Hermon, Orrington and Veazie. The discolored water remains safe to drink and passes all quality control tests, according to the district.

Even when the ozone system comes back online, customers who have seen discolored water will likely not see immediate improvement, Moriarty said. It takes time for the clear water to be pumped through the system and into household taps, she said.

“This project has taken longer than we anticipated and we’re thankful that customers have been as patient as they have been so far,” Moriarty said.

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...