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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Water issues focus of Litchfield meeting

By DON HIMSEL
Staff Writer

LITCHFIELD - A public meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Campbell High School for Litchfield residents regarding the connection of certain homes to public water as part of an ongoing effort to bypass tainted private wells.

Saint Gobain Performance Plastics is at the heart of an continuing contamination issue regarding elevated levels of PFOA in water wells in several area towns. Saint Gobain, municipalities and Pennichuck Water Works have been working together to connect affected homes to the Pennichuck system. ...

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LITCHFIELD - A public meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Campbell High School for Litchfield residents regarding the connection of certain homes to public water as part of an ongoing effort to bypass tainted private wells.

Saint Gobain Performance Plastics is at the heart of an continuing contamination issue regarding elevated levels of PFOA in water wells in several area towns. Saint Gobain, municipalities and Pennichuck Water Works have been working together to connect affected homes to the Pennichuck system.

The state's Department of Environmental Services, Pennichuck and the town said it is encouraging Litchfield residents with impacted wells to attend the meeting to discuss the connection project. Additionally, affected property owners will have the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork. The meeting will be held in the school's auditorium.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services hopes that 173 Litchfield homes will be hooked to the Pennichuck delivery system by the end of 2016. The remaining 187 homes will be connected in 2017. In the meantime, the Litchfield homes will receive point-of-use filters until they are fully connected to the public water system.

NHDES and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics announced arrangements with Pennichuck Corp. to secure bids for the project. At that time NHDES said that the private drinking water wells serving 124 residences and businesses in the Litchfield area have tested at or above 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is the New Hampshire Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Health Advisory level for PFOA in drinking water.

The state has adopted that level as the state's Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard under emergency rulemaking. Due to the close proximity of the remaining 236 private wells, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has agreed that the scope of the project bid should include water line extensions so that all residences and businesses in that area can be connected to municipal water

Work is also underway in Merrimack and Manchester to connect a total of 41 homes to the Pennichuck system.

Don Himsel can be reached at 594-6590, dhimsel@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_DonH.