Maine Water Company announced Monday it will invest $8.7 million next year to replace aging infrastructure.

Nearly $5 million is designated to replace aging water mains and other components in the distribution systems Maine Water maintains. It will also spend nearly $2 million for the design and permitting of a new water treatment facility near the Saco River in Biddeford.

“Proactively replacing infrastructure improves reliability and water quality and reduces lost water through leaks and breaks,” Maine Water president Judy Wallingford said in a prepared statement. “We’ll make sure to coordinate closely with road work and waste water system upgrades in the municipalities we serve. Shared economies of scale can save the towns’ taxpayers and the water company’s customers on paving and other construction costs.”

Maine Water serves 32,000 customers in more than 20 communities across the state.

The new treatment facility in Biddeford will replace one that was built in 1884 and sits in the flood plain of the Saco River. The new state-of-the-art facility will be built on South Street and will have expandable capacity to serve the growing region, Wallingford said.

Maine Water spent $7.4 million in 2016 on projects designed to improve service, water quality and reliability, according to the company. That work included $5 million in upgrades to old water mains, some of which dated back to the late 1800s.

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