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Paper missed mark on sewer overflows

The Telegraph recently missed an opportunity to highlight a major Nashua success.

On Aug. 11, The Telegraph reported that a recent heavy rainstorm had caused five of the city’s combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to discharge untreated sewage to the Nashua and Merrimack Rivers.

While factual, the story missed the larger context – the fact that Nashua’s new sewage storage facility has resulted in a 90 percent reduction in the annual CSO discharges from the city’s wastewater system.

This major success is largely unknown, particularly by our downstream neighbors in Massachusetts, who recently sponsored a badly exaggerated alarm about the threat to the cleanliness of the Merrimack posed by development in New Hampshire forests.

Not only is the Lower Merrimack almost always safe for swimming these days – even by New Hampshire’s stringent standards – but the taxpayers have been saved untold expenses and disruption of their streets had new piping been required instead of the storage facility.

Gene Porter

Nashua