Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Paul Mercer recently visited the NMCC campus to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Water Treatment Technology program and lab.

“We’ve had a lot of tremendous help to do this,” NMCC President Timothy Crowley said in a statement before the ribbon cutting. “The state of Maine has a reputation for clean water and its environment, and we want to keep it that way. We want to be on the cutting edge in this region of keeping water clean and treating water appropriately. The environment is what attracts a tremendous amount of people—it’s a real draw to this area—and we need to keep this environment pristine.”

NMCC is the now only college in Maine to offer an Associate Degree in Water Treatment Technology (WTT) as well as certificates in both water and wastewater treatment technologies.

The programs, which began this fall, were created in response to a request by the MeDEP and in association with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The two-year associate degree covers state-of-the-art technologies in both water and wastewater treatment.  The one-year certificate programs offer certification in either water or wastewater technology.  The one-year programs prepare students for state-approved operator testing for immediate employment in the industry.

Nick Archer, Regional Director of the DEP, also also spoke and said , “When we approached the commissioner with this idea, we could barely get the words out and he was on board right away. Without him throwing his full support into this, we would not be here today.”

“The quality of water in the state of Maine is the most important natural resource we have,” Commissioner Paul Mercer stated. “People come to the state of Maine for the water. Whether it’s on the beaches of southern Maine; whether it’s on the lakes, streams, rivers; whether it’s for snowmobiling or ice fishing, it’s all water quality. Water is actually the bellwether for the entire environment. As long as the water is good, the environment is good. Water is our key. This is a shining example of the mission of the community college: identify a need and move towards it."

For more information on water treatment technology and educational opportunities at Northern Maine Community College, visit www.nmcc.edu.

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