Firefighting Foam Contaminates Public Water for About 9,000 in Maine

May 25, 2023

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) – Firefighting foam used in battling a fatal fire in an apartment building entered the public water system, prompting the water district to order thousands of residents not to drink the water.

The do-not-drink order went into effect Monday for about 9,000 Kennebec Water District customers in Waterville, Winslow, Benton, Fairfield and Vassalboro. Testing was being conducted Tuesday to determine whether the water is safe to drink.

“While the extent of the contamination is unclear, out of an abundance of caution, Kennebec Water District is issuing a system-wide Do Not Drink Order,” the water district announced Monday.

Firefighting foam entered the public water distribution system as firefighters battled a blaze in an apartment building for seniors. One person was killed and several others were injured Monday.

Water samples that were taken Tuesday morning were being delivered to a lab in southern Maine for analysis. Officials hoped to be able to provide an update by day’s end.