The Water Division performs the following functions for the communities served by the Portsmouth regional water system that include Portsmouth, Pease Tradeport, Newington, New Castle, Greenland and portions of Rye and Madbury:
- Maintaining water mains, hydrants and valves;
- Maintaining water services to the customer's shutoff valves (the customer is responsible for the private portion of their service beyond the shutoff valve);
- Maintains/installs/reads water meters;
- Performs backflow testing and cross connection control program;
- Manages the Bellamy Reservoir and Madbury Surface Water Treatment Facility together with eight groundwater wells.
Water supplied to Portsmouth Water System customers comes from a combination of surface water and groundwater sources. The surface water supply is the Bellamy Reservoir which is located in Madbury and Dover. Water Flows by gravity from the reservoir to the Water Treatment Facility in Madbury where it is treated using a coagulation, dissolved air flotation and duel media filtration process. The treated water is chlorinated with sodium hypochlorite prior to distribution into the system.
There are currently three groundwater wells in Madbury (Wells #2, #3 and #4) that are pumped with the treated surface water through a transmission main to the Booster Pumping Station in Newington. Customers in Madbury, Durham and some customers along Fox Point Road in Newington receive water from the transmission main. Water is pumped from the Newington Booster Pumping Station to customers through the Portsmouth distribution system. Portsmouth is also served by three groundwater wells, two of which, Portsmouth #1 Well and Collins Well, are located off Route 33 (Greenland Road). The area in Greenland served by the public water system and a southern portion of Portsmouth is supplied primarily by the Greenland Well located off Post Road in Greenland.
The specific source(s) of water at your home or business is dependent upon your location. For example, if you live in or near downtown Portsmouth, your water is primarily from Madbury which is a blend of the treated surface water and the wells in Madbury. If you live in the southern or western sides of the City your water is more likely from the wells in Portsmouth and Greenland. The flows from these sources also vary seasonally based on water demand.
The treatment process consists of a series of steps. First, source water is drawn from the Bellamy Reservoir. Prior to mixing, coagulation chemicals are added. The addition of these substances cause small particles to adhere to one another (called floc), making them easier to float to the surface in the Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) system, where they are skimmed off and sent to a drying bed. The water is then filtered through layers of anthracite to remove smaller suspended particles and turbidity (which is a measure of the cloudiness of the water). Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is added at this point for disinfection. We carefully monitor the amount of sodium hypochlorite, adding the lowest quantity necessary to protect the safety of your water without compromising taste. Finally, sodium hydroxide (to adjust the final pH and alkalinity), fluoride (to prevent tooth decay), and a corrosion inhibitor (to protect distribution system pipes) are added before the water is pumped to water storage tanks and into your home or business. The public water supply is also fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of six months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.
Click Here to View the Madbury Water Treatment Process