Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Maine Saco

Saco, Maine

Saco was originally settled by Europeans in the 1630s and in 1762 separated from Biddeford to become the separate town of Pepperelborough, which was changed to Saco in 1805.

The first attempt to construct a water system was a petition to form the Pepperelborough Aqueduct Company, which was read in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1801 but did not pass. 

The Saco Aqueduct Company was organized in 1823 and built a water system using lead pipes.  This company was bought by Horace Woodman in 1879, who installed a larger iron pipe.

The Biddeford and Saco Water Company was incorporated in 1881 by James M. Andrews, Edward W. Staples, Horace Ford, Alfred Goodwin, R. W. Randall, William Hill, George W. Donnell, Samuel G. Twambley, Albert K. Cleaves, E. H. Banks, C. E. Hussey, Thomas Haley, W. H. Field, O. H. Staples, Oliver C. Clark, John S. Derby, John Quimby, George F. Owen, William J. Bradford, and Enoch Lowell, "for the purpose of conveying to, and supplying the cities of Biddeford and Saco, in York County, with pure and wholesome water."  Little was done until 1883, when Messrs. George P. Wescott of Portland, and John P. Gilman of Haverhill, Mass., both prominent in the Portland Water Company, became interested in the Biddeford and Saco property and acquired the charter of the original incorporators. An 1883 charter amendment added the towns of Lyman, Dayton, and Scarboro' to the service area, and another 1883 amendment modified the purpose to add "for domestic and municipal purposes, including the extinguishment of fires, the supply of shipping, and the use of manufacturing establishments." 

This company built a system pumping water from the Saco River into a reservoir using water power.

The Biddeford and Saco Water Company was acquired by the Maine Water Company on December 10, 2012.

Water in Saco is currently supplied by Maine Water., which is a subsidiary of Connecticut Water Services, Inc.


References
1801 Brookfield Political Repository, March 3, 1801, Page 3.
Legislature of Massachusetts, House of Representatives, Friday, Feb. 20. A bill to incorporate the Pepperelborough Aqueduct Company, was read, and tomorrow, 10 o'clock, assigned for the second reading.

1836 An act creating the Saco and Biddeford Village Corporation, March 15, 1836.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That said Corporation is hereby invested with the power ... for the construction of Reservoirs and Aqueducts for the procuring of water.

1880 History of York County, Maine: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Page after 152: Horace Woodman.  Mr. Woodman has been president of the Saco and Biddeford Gaslight Company since 1874, and in 1879 purchased the stock of the Saco Aqueduct Company, organized in 1823, and has laid an iron pipe of larger diameter than the lead one of the company, to furnish the city of Saco with water.

1881 An act to incorporate the Biddeford and Saco Water Company, March 12, 1881.

1882 Biddeford, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D. The system owned by the Saco Water Power Company probably did not serve Saco, but that is not certain.

1883 An Act to amend chapter one hundred and twenty-four of the Private and Special Laws of the year eighteen hundred and eighty-one, entitled "An Act to incorporate the Biddeford and Saco Water Company."  February 3, 1883.

1883 An act to amend chapter one hundred and eighty of the Private and Special Laws of eighteen hundred and eighty-three, entitled "An Act to amend chapter one hundred and twenty-four of the Private and Special Laws of the year eighteen hundred and eighty-one, entitled "An Act to incorporate the Biddeford and Saco Water Company."  August 19, 1883.

1884 Engineering News 11:177 (April 12, 1884)
Biddeford and Saco, Me., Water Power Company, has completed arrangements with the Councils of those cities for the exclusive right to furnish water for domestic, fire and general purposes. The works, which will be completed by January 1, 1886, will consist of a pumping station. reservoir capable of containing 12,000,000, and a distributing system throughout the two cities. The water will be taken from the Saco River at a point about two miles above the city of Biddeford. It is expected that the company will expend about $175,000 upon the works this year. and that they will be rapidly pushed to completion.

1887 An act relating to the Biddeford and Saco Water Company, March 11, 1887.

1888 "Biddeford and Saco," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Biddeford and Saco," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Biddeford and Saco," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1892 Boston Herald, May 13, 1892, Page 7.
An Eminent Inventor Dead.  Horace Woodman, who had made many mechanical improvements.
He was also chief owner of the Saco Aqueduct Company, which corporation went out of existence when the Biddeford & Saco Water Company began business.

1897 "Biddeford and Saco," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1898 "Memorandum of Agreement between City of Biddford and Biddeford & Saco Water Co." December 20, 1898, includes copy of January 3, 1884 agreement. From Annual Reports of the City of Biddeford for the Fiscal Year ending January 31, 1910.

1917 Percy R. Rich, et als, vs. Biddeford and Saco Water Company, F. C. No. 28, April 10, 1917, Maine Public Utilities Commission Report Includes a good history of the company and system.

1920 Re Complaint of Biddeford and Saco Water Company Against itself, F. C. 265, January 26, 1920.  Report of the Public Utilities Commission of Maine.

Digital Commons @ UMaine, many annual reports for Saco and Biddeford






2016 Morris A. Pierce