Four employees from the Kennebec Water District took first place in the second annual Pipe Tapping Competition held Aug. 9 at Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick.

The competition was hosted by the Maine Water Utilities Association. This high-energy competition pits water utility crews against each other in a timed event to tap a pressurized water pipe in an effort to connect a new water service line.

Five four-man teams from Lewiston, Augusta, Boothbay, Maine Water Company (based in Saco) and the Kennebec Water District in Waterville demonstrated their pipe tapping expertise in a race against time to determine which utility could tap a ductile iron pipe and connect a new service line the fastest. Kennebec Water District had a time of 2 minutes and 52 seconds.

The winning team consisted of Tony Bellavance, Ross Desjardins, Shane George and TJ Pooler.

“The energy they put into this event is the same energy in which they come to work each day. Kennebec Water District customers should know that they have an exceptional team of professionals working hard for them every day to reliably provide safe drinking water,” said Roger Crouse, general manager of the Kennebec Water District, in a news release.

Bruce Berger, executive director of the Maine Water Utilities Association, said “These operators are the unsung heroes of our state. Nothing has a greater impact on the health, wellbeing and economic vitality of our communities than the daily supply of safe drinking water. We are proud to host this event to give these operators recognition for the work they do. All the competitors and all water operators should be proud of the public health service they provide,” according to the release.

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