Water Programs

Maine Healthy Beaches - The Maine Healthy Beaches Program (MHB) is a partnership between the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and local municipalities/state parks. MHB is a statewide effort to monitor water quality and protect public health at Maine's participating coastal saltwater beaches.

Children's Water Festivals - Students from across the state have the opportunity to participate in fun-filled, educational days of water-related activities at a Children's Water Festival. Festivals are held in Southern Maine every year, and in Northern Maine in even numbered years. Both Festivals are filled with hands-on classroom activities, an exhibit hall, entertainment, and water-focused investigations.

Combined Sewer Overflow - Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) occur during storm events when a mixture of wastewater and stormwater runoff overflows the combined sewer collection system before receiving treatment at a licensed wastewater treatment facility. Technical assistance and guidance on CSO abatement are provided to communities.

Invasive Aquatic Plants - Invasive aquatic plants remain a prominent issue in Maine. The mission of the Maine DEP Invasive Species Program is to reduce risk of introduction and further spread of invasive aquatic plants in the state's 6,000 ponds, lakes and streams.

Nutrient Criteria - Nutrient enrichment can cause algal blooms, low dissolved oxygen concentrations, fish kills, excessive growths of filamentous algae or bacteria, and generation of cyanotoxins. States are required to develop and adopt numeric criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus for all jurisdictional waters and demonstrate annual progress toward this goal.

Salmon Habitat Monitoring - DEP monitors the water quality and biological communities in Maine's Atlantic salmon rivers and streams in close collaboration with state and federal agencies and non-profit groups, with the goal to restore and enhance the populations of this endangered species.

Ships & Boats - Information on commercial passenger vessels, no discharge areas, and the boat pumpout program.

Sustainable Water Use - Information on direct or indirect withdrawal, removal, diversion or other activity or use that alters the natural flow or water levels of a non-tidal fresh surface water of the State. These waters include rivers, streams, brooks, lakes and ponds that are classified state waters.

Water Quality Standards - A general listing of Maine's "water quality standards", as this phrase is used by the Maine DEP's water quality and assessment program in considering ambient water quality, as well as the waste discharge licensing program. These standards are one of the principal foundations for the protection of water quality in Maine.

Waste Discharge - Information on regulation of wastewater discharges including municipal/industrial, overboard discharge, subsurface waste discharge, sand/salt and dental amalgam separator systems. Also includes stormwater control under the Waste Discharge Law.

Wastewater Treatment - The Wastewater Treatment programs provide technical review for municipalities planning sewer system extensions and wastewater treatment plant expansions as well as providing technical assistance and pollution prevention services to municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities.

Water Quality Grants & Loans - Including the following programs: