Portsmouth Water Department Honored at Annual NHDES Drinking Water Source Protection Conference

May 18, 2015

PORTSMOUTH, NH - The City of Portsmouth has been named a recipient of the 2015 Water Sustainability Award by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). This award was presented at the Source Water Protection Conference on Wednesday, May 6th, honoring the Portsmouth Water Department for their continued, innovative service to its customers.

Over the past decade, the Water Department has rolled out numerous programs to assist customers both financially and environmentally. From 2006 to 2008, the City offered residential customers water conservation retrofit kits, in which 1,775 water-saving kits were issued through the program. From 2009 to 2011, almost 1,000 rain barrels were sold to residents at cost. In 2013, Portsmouth became an EPA WaterSense partner.

Most recently, the City has implemented the first residential customer rebate program in the State for the replacement of inefficient toilets with water efficient WaterSense certified toilets, as well as replacing washing machines with new energy and water efficient machines. The City's water metering system now captures real-time data, which enables quick identification of leaks and allows staff the ability to inform customers of abnormal water use. This system allows for residents to be billed monthly instead of three times a year, allowing them the opportunity to adjust their water use habits in response to their water and sewer bills. Water and energy conservation design concepts continue to be incorporated in facility designs, including the recently completed LEED-certified water treatment plant in Madbury, the new City Library and the renovated Middle School.

"We are extremely honored to receive this distinction from NHDES," said Brian Goetz, Deputy Director, Portsmouth Public Works. "I am proud of the ongoing efforts of our department to offer customers varied opportunities, but am also proud of the many citizens who participate in our program offerings to optimize water and energy use."

Photo: New Hampshire DES Commissioner Tom Burack presents the 2015 New Hampshire Water Sustainability Award to City of Portsmouth representatives, Al Pratt, Water Resources Engineer, and Peter Armstrong, Chemist, at the 2015 New Hampshire DES Source Water Protection Conference in Concord.

New Hampshire DES Commissioner Tom Burack presents the 2015 New Hampshire Water Sustainability Award to City of Portsmouth representatives