Water Programs

Beaches - Information on monitoring of Maine's coastal 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.

Hydropower & Dams - Information on licensing of  hydropower projects, and response to petitions to set water levels or provide release from dam ownership

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 negative environmental impacts to surface waters, such as 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.

Ships & Boats - The ships and boats pages contain information on commercial passenger vessels, no discharge areas, and the boat pumpout program.



Stormwater - The Stormwater Program works toward protecting and restoring surface and groundwater impacted by stormwater flows. The Maine Stormwater Program includes the regulation of stormwater under three core laws: The Site Location of Development law (Site Law), Stormwater Management Law, and Waste Discharge Law (MEPDES). Aspects of stormwater are also addressed under industry specific laws such as the borrow pit and solid waste laws, and the rules administered by the Land Use Planning Commission.

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.

Watershed Management - Watershed management focuses on land use activities throughout a watershed with the goal of preventing polluted runoff from reaching surface water.

Waste Discharge - Information on regulation of wastewater discharges including municipal/industrial, overboard discharge, subsurface waste discharge, sand/salt and dental amalgam separator systems.

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.