West Bethel Water System Upgraded

New Water Supply for West Bethel


On September 1, 2011 the Bethel Water District, Cross Excavation and A E Hodsdon Engineers began installing a new water main from the BWD treatment plant on the North Road to water mains of West Bethel village. 


As of Wednesday, September 14th, the new water main had crossed the Androscoggin River in the vicinity of the Ferry Road canoe landing. It is a special composition plastic pipe 13 inches in outside diameter and 11 inches inside that was pulled from West Bethel through a channel in the river bed that had been bored from the north bank.


The under river crossing pipe is 530 feet long. It was connected to a regular 12 inch main that runs from the river crossing site to the treatment plant. On the West Bethel side the special crossing pipe will be connected to a 12 inch main running along the path of the Ferry Road and thence connected to the existing distribution system.


David DiProfio was the site engineer for the A E Hodsdon Company and supervised the technical aspect of the work.  As both an engineer and former regulator, Mr. DiProfio has 25 years knowledge of the Bethel water system.


Mr. DiProfio is confident that the new system will not only provide high quality water to West Bethel customers but that the existing supply obtained from five pumps on the North Road side of the river will be more than adequate for decades to come even if West Bethel’s population grows significantly.


As a safety factor in case of a main line break in the river, hydrants have been installed on each side of river so that water could be supplied by a hose crossing through the river from hydrant to hydrant. This would be like the emergency method used in Bethel several years ago when the main line that crossed the river broke.


For the first time since the West Bethel system was established by the Town of Bethel in 1959, West Bethel water customers will receive fully treated water that has been chlorinated, fluoride added, and aerated for the healthiest water possible. 


As of 2010 the West Bethel system had 59 service connections to customers located on six West Bethel roads. Most of the customers reside on three streets—West Bethel Road, Mt. View Circle and the Flat Road.


Lucien Roberge, BWD Superintendent, noted that at the time of this construction there had been a drop in water consumption in West Bethel from 12,000 gallons a day down to about 5,000 gallons which he saw as a consequence of mills closing and the impact of a poor economy on some residential customers.  However, once completed and any individual troubles resolved, for the first time in 50 years West Bethel water customers will have service on par with Bethel village customers.


November 4, 2011 Bethel Water District announced that it had crossed Route 2 and made the connection to the West Bethel system.  BWD was pressure testing and disinfecting the new mains. On Monday and Tuesday, if the pressure test is ok, we will flush and sample.  After two consecutive tests passed satisfactorily, the District separated the West Bethel wells from the system and opened the Bethel system making the consolidation complete.   





BWD Water Treatment Plant

Pumping field

Under river crossing

Connection to W. Bethel system

Water Main– from treatment plant to West Bethel

This map with notations does not try to illustrate the entire system, just the part involved in joining the two systems together.   Map above was created using ArcGIS map making software.

Barker Rd—Ferry Road intersection shows where water main has crossed to the Kendall Mill area.

Hydrant at crossing point on the Kendall Dowel Mill site.

North Road side of crossing point—Donald Katlin looks toward the West Bethel boat landing where the West Bethel crossing point is located.

Special composition plastic pipe which has been drawn from West Bethel under the Androscoggin River pokes into view.  During September 2011, the first step in connecting Bethel’s water system to the Bethel Water District’s West Bethel customers was completed.

Work in progress on the West Bethel side.


Bethel News and History

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217