Water issue must be addressed

One of the basic necessities of life is water. After all, the human body is made up of more than 50 percent of the substance.

That’s why it is imperative that everyone has access to clean, palatable water.

Over the past decade, we have seen many communities – like Detroit – go through major crises when it comes to fighting for this elixir of life.

New Hampshire, of course, is no stranger to water problems – even in our own area – with Merrimack serving as a prime example.

Even closer to home, some of our fellow citizens are experiencing discoloration issues.

Residents of the city’s north end are seeing brow water flowing from their taps.

Thankfully, Pennichuck Water Works officials already have been cooperating with city officials to find answers and correct the problem.

Last week, Pennichuck Chief Operating Officer Don Ware explained the causes of colored water, and what people can do if they are experiencing this issue.

“There are sources that come from within the piping that leaves the treatment plant and goes to your houses,” Ware said at the meeting. “The piping underground is primarily a combination of iron pipe – prior to 1937 that pipe was not lined with cement – and iron in the presence of water creates rust. The main that your services are tapped off of is a 16-inch main installed in 1881. That water main has got a buildup of that.”

He said a second source of colored water in most of New England is manganese, which occurs naturally in both the groundwater and surface water.

While officials do no think there are any major health risks, the situation must be dealt with swiftly.

One solution, of course, is to replace the main in question. While we understand that replacing major infrastructure is both costly and sometimes difficult, our residents are worth the investment.

Ware noted that there are 46 miles of pipeline being gradually replaced – which he estimates will be done over the next 10 to 12 years.

Our question is, should it really take that long to ensure everyone in our community has a healthy, clean source of water?