Lake Auburn Info

Lake Auburn Info

  • Maine receives an average of 45” of precipitation every year. That amount of rain would cover the state with more than a meter of water if it fell all at once.  However, water is in constant motion…
  • In undeveloped areas, ~ 55% of precipitation recharges the ground, 30% evaporates, and 15% runs off.
  • About 2/3rds of Lake Auburn’s water flows from the watershed; the remaining third comes from precipitation: 34%  from rain on the surface, 31% from springs/groundwater, 35% from surface flow from tribs and basin.
  • As water flows across the surface of the land, it picks up and carries with it whatever it encounters; including pollutants and nutrients.
  • Nutrients, such as phosphorus, are naturally-occurring chemicals that help plants grow.
  • Phosphorus is found in exposed soil, fertilizers, animal wastes.
  • Algae grow when fed with nutrients- the greater the supply of nutrients, the faster the algae can grow.
  • A quick growth of algae is called a bloom.  A bloom not only grows fast, it also dies fast.  A large growth of algae will use up a lot of oxygen when it dies and decomposes.  Low oxygen levels cause problems for fish and other aquatic life.
  • Since so much of Lake Auburn’s water comes from the watershed, it is critical to monitor the entire area to assure that the water flowing into the lake is coming from unpolluted, preferably forested natural areas.
  • Lake Auburn’s watershed consists of about 15 square miles located in 5 different towns.
  • Because so much of Lake Auburn’s watershed is forested, the lake has exceptional water quality.
  • The high quality of water in the lake has entitled it to a waiver from filtration from the EPA.
  • Only 10 water utilities in Maine have earned a waiver from filtration.
  • The waiver allows Auburn Water District to keep costs down for customers.  However, to keep the waiver and therefore the lesser costs for treatment, the water quality must remain exceptional.
  • AWSD’s new UV Treatment facility keeps the district ahead of the curve on water treatment technologies.
  • The only absolute method to keep pathogens and pollutants from drinking water is to prevent them from entering the source.  No treatment exists that can purify water once it’s compromised.