Merrimack continues fight for clean water

MERRIMACK – Residents are not going to give up until they rid their public drinking water supply of hazardous materials related to the manufacturing of plastics, foams and paints, as Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water are out keep their community safe.

The group organized in response to chemicals known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, being identified near the Saint Gobain Performance Plastics facility at Merrimack. Thursday, group members group members welcomed four members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to their monthly meeting at the Merrimack Public Library.

“It’s really up to us to make sure our water if filtered. We can’t wait for (New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services). We can’t wait for the state. We can’t wait for Saint Gobain,” said Rep. Rosemarie Rung, D-Merrimack. “The highest priority for Merrimack is that our water does not pose a risk for our children.”

The group and the state representatives agreed that proposing a filtration system in the public water system is the best way to deal with quality water issues. Where the problem exists is the cost, and how the public will react to the dollar amount while being uninformed on the issue.

“This is something that we have to take care of now,” Clean Water member Katharine Hodge said.

They also hope to highlight the estimated cost to self-filter homes compared to implementing a filtration system in the public water system, and examine the cost feasibility of this.

These issues stem from 2016 when New Hampshire DES closed two of the six public water wells in the town. According to DES, the wells were closed due to air emissions of PFAS used at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.

The group’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the library, 470 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack.

Mathew Plamondon may be reached at 594-1244 or mplamondon@nashuatelegraph.com.