Maine Water parent merged with California company

By Stephen Betts | Nov 27, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Mirror Lake in West Rockport is the main source of water for the Camden-Rockland area.

The water company that serves much of Knox County has a new parent corporation.

SJW Group and Connecticut Water Service Inc. announced the completion of their merger. The combined group will be known as SJW Group based in San Jose, Calif.

Connecticut Water Service acquired Aqua Maine Water Company in 2012. Aqua America bought the Maine water companies in March 1999.

"Maine Water is now part of the SJW Group family, a utility company 100-percent focused on delivering exceptional public water and wastewater service. We will continue to operate as Maine Water and you will continue to be served by the same employees from our local work centers around Maine," Maine Water states on its web site.

"We will continue to be regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission and be subject to all the public health and environmental laws of the state of Maine." the web site announcement stated.

Maine Water serves about 80,000 people in 21 Maine communities. Those include Rockland, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, Owls Head, Warren, Union, Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde, Vinalhaven, and Waldoboro. The main source of water for the Camden Rockland division is Mirror Lake with Grassy Pond as the back-up supply. Both are located in West Rockport.

The value of the water company owned properties in the area are in the $20 million range.

The Rockland Water Company formed in 1850 and used Chickawaukie Lake as its water source. The Camden and Rockland Water Company formed in 1885 with water piped from Mirror Lake.

Customers will see an immediate benefit from the combination with SJW Group including an immediate, one-time 2 percent credit of one year of each customer's water bill, according to the water company post. For the Camden-Rockland division, that will average nearly $8 per residential customer.

Other befits listed by the company are fostering socially responsible programs and policies and environmentally sustainable business practices, maintaining a focus on environmental stewardship, water conservation and protection of the valuable lands and water resources that have been entrusted, and delivering customer benefits. This will be enhanced by the sharing of systems, best practices, operational expertise and more extensive resources throughout the entire company.

"There are many other long-term benefits because we are now part of a larger organization with increased buying power, greater financial and technical resources, and the support of additional passionate, skilled water professionals across the organization," according to the statement.

SJW now serves 1.5 million people across California, Connecticut, Maine and Texas.

The sale was finalized last month.

“As a leading national water and wastewater utility, we are well positioned to deliver significant benefits to all of our stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, employees and the local communities we serve,”said Eric W. Thornburg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of SJW Group in a news release. “This transformative combination provides us with the financial strength, geographic and regulatory diversity and increased scale that we believe will enable growth and create sustainable shareholder value.We will have greater capacity to invest in infrastructure, enhanced technical resources to provide high quality water and wastewater service to customers and communities and additional career growth opportunities for our employees. We will also continue to focus on local communities through corporate involvement and by supporting employee engagement.”

Comments (4)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 28, 2019 20:57

Dog gone it that water hose is now going to stretch all the way from Cal-i-forn-i-a across the country to Maine. Sounds like the joke about CMP running a new extension cord across out beautiful state just to feed the rich folks in Mass-a-two-sitts. We have certainly made progress. Maybe the newspaper tycoon can start buying water companies and keep all the profits in Maine.


Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Nov 28, 2019 15:05

Why, Jeff, because that would be "socialism."  And we know that in a capitalist country everything simply has to be a commodity with a price.  Water is becoming just that.


"Water is posed to be the commodity of the 21st century," said Richard Sandor, an analyst at Environmental Products, who also founded the Chicago Climate Exchange.

"In the United States, there will be a need for 165 percent more water by 2025 above 2000 levels, the report says. Energy use -- such as use for cooling down power plants during hot summers -- accounts for 49 percent of U.S. water demand.

Tight supplies will be further squeezed by a potential shortage of workers managing stormwater, drinking water and wastewater systems, said Mary Keeling, a manager at IBM. The issue is "often overlooked," she said."

Posted by: Jeff Grinnell | Nov 28, 2019 14:39

That.s awesome...cause California is so great at managing their public and natural resources....why cant anything be a locally the end consumer.. non profit utility...

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Nov 28, 2019 10:52

Some local residents may be old enough to remember "the Camden & Rockland" water company which I am told was originally founded by "the Farnsworth" family and that the Farnsworth homestead was the first home in Rockland to have "indoor plumbing". Brian please correct me if this is wrong.  Anyway my point being for many years this was a local company and the offices for many years were on Lindsey st.  Today any questions or issues will be directed to a voice recognition computer in San Jose California and we are told that nothing will change.  If you really believe this I have some swamp land in Florida I wish to sell.

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