Wastewater & Sewer

Recent News

Sewer Division Information


For a brief video introduction to the Sewer Division, please click here

For an overview, go to this Wastewater Treatment 101 presentation.

Sewage collection and treatment is the responsibility of the Sewer Division of the Department of Public Works (DPW). This division maintains and operates the City’s wastewater system. The wastewater system includes:

  • ~122 miles of sewer collection system
  • 20 wastewater pump stations
  • 3 EPA permitted combined sewer overflows
  • 2 Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTF)
    • Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Facility
    • Pease Wastewater Treatment Facility

The City’s sewer system provides service to over 90% of the City’s developed land area. There are some areas of the City that do not have access to a public sewer system and use septic systems for wastewater disposal.  The City’s collection system extends into portions of Greenland and Rye, and the City provides treatment to all the wastewater from the Town of New Castle.

The City has a number of ongoing operational projects, capital projects and ongoing long-term programs. Major capital projects include upgrades to the Peirce Island WWTF and the Pease WWTF.  The City’s long-term programs include removal of extraneous water in the sewer collection system through a sewer system evaluation survey and continued work on reducing combined sewer overflows through implementation of the City’s Long Term Control Plan.

Funding for operation of the sewer division is provided through the rate payers who contribute to the Sewer Enterprise Fund. The City makes upgrades to components of the wastewater system through the Sewer Enterprise Fund.  Many of these projects are regulatory driven.  Major capital project funding needs are identified as part of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan

The City of Portsmouth is also participating in a UNH-NH DHHS project sampling wastewater to identify trends in increasing or decreasing presence of COVID-19 in the community. 

For sewer related emergencies, contact the Department of Public Works dispatch office at (603) 427-1530.