The Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission provides clean drinking water for the Lewiston and Auburn area by maintaining the quality of the water through education, outreach and watershed management efforts.

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About  Lake Auburn’s Watershed

The source of drinking water for Lewiston and Auburn


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 tributaries and basins.

  • As water flows across the surface of the land, it picks up and carries with it whatever it encounters; including pollutants and nutrients like phosphorus.
  • 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.
  • Lake Auburn’s watershed consists of about 15 square miles located in 5 different towns.

Lake Auburn’s high quality of water in the lake has entitled it to a waiver from filtration from the EPA making it one of 10 water utilities in Maine to 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.
  • The only absolute method to keep pathogens and pollutants from drinking water is to prevent them from entering the source.