On Thursday, January 17th, City staff attended the New England Water Works Association’s (NEWWA) monthly meeting to receive its 2018 Public Communications Award. NEWWA recognized the City for its excellence in communications through comprehensive public outreach materials and programs. Please click here for information on the recognition.
On December 31, 2018, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) initiated rulemaking to establish Maximum Contaminate Levels (MCLs) and Ambient Groundwater Quality Standards (AGQS) for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) - perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) to ensure greater protection of public health related to the consumption of drinking water.
The City of Portsmouth’s Water Division is pleased to announce the acquisition of a conservation easement on 72 acres of property adjacent to the Bellamy Reservoir in Madbury, New Hampshire from Dave Olson. This easement was realized through the combined efforts of the City, the Southeast Land Trust (SELT), the Town of Madbury and the State of New Hampshire’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.
Portsmouth water remains in compliance with quality requirements for lead
The City of Portsmouth completed its recent round of sampling under the Lead & Copper monitoring program and is pleased to report that the water system remains in compliance with the current lead and copper regulations. This sampling is required by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and is administered by NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) through the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).
Higher than normal precipitation over the past three months have caused the quantity of available groundwater and surface water to be greater than normal for this time of year. The quality of the surface water has greatly improved and stabilized since the dynamic water quality changes that occurred in late September and October.
On October 1, 2018, Deputy Public Works Director Brian Goetz shared an update on the Pease Tradeport Water System and upgraded PFAS treatment.
Currently, the Water Division started their twice annual routine hydrant flushing of the City’s 190 miles of water mains to remove sediment buildup on Monday, September 17th. Work will not occur on the evenings of September 24th or September 25th.
The City of Portsmouth and the United States Air Force have recently signed their latest agreement to treat perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from water supplied by the Smith, Harrison and Haven Wells serving the Pease Tradeport drinking water system. The agreement will provide the City with up to $14.3 million to reimburse the cost of construction of the final treatment system for all three wells, which will include a dual filtration system consisting of resin and granular activated carbon filters.
While significant rainfall at the end of July into August was beneficial at the time for Portsmouth’s water supply, the current warm and dry conditions increases water supply demands and places further stress to treat quality issues due to added organics within the water.
While significant rainfall at the end of July into August was beneficial at the time for Portsmouth's water supply, the extreme heat conditions continue to place strain on the City's water system. The ongoing heat increases water supply demands and places further stress to treat quality issues due to added organics within the water. Additionally, the annual precipitation average remains below normal due to the dry spring and the City continues to operate without the support of the Haven Well.