Pennichuck, N.H., water line to expand; serve Litchfield residents

CONCORD, NH, AUGUST 25, 2016 — The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics are today announcing that Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has arranged with Pennichuck Corporation to secure bids to extend the Litchfield Public Water System to allow for the connection of up to 360 Litchfield homes and businesses that are currently on private wells. The cost, phasing, and timing of the project will be dependent on the bids received and the construction firm selected.

The private drinking water wells serving 124 residences and businesses in the Litchfield area have tested at or above 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is the New Hampshire Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Health Advisory level for PFOA in drinking water. The State of New Hampshire has adopted that level as the state’s Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard under emergency rulemaking. Due to the close proximity of the remaining 236 private wells, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has agreed that the scope of the project bid should include water line extensions so that all residences and businesses in that area can be connected to municipal water.

“We appreciate Saint-Gobain’s willingness to collaborate with the state to achieve our mutual goal of assuring clean drinking water for all area residents despite the fact that we have not concluded our investigation,” said Tom Burack, Commissioner of NHDES. “We will continue to work with Saint-Gobain and all of the affected towns to ensure ongoing access to clean drinking water throughout the investigation process.”

In May 2016, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics agreed to fund the engineering design work by Pennichuck Corporation for the potential expansion of the existing public water system in Litchfield in addition to funding the provision of bottled water to homes having elevated PFOA levels in their private wells in the vicinity of the company’s Merrimack plant.

“Our primary concern has been to ensure the residents of Litchfield have access to clean drinking water and we remain committed to making that happen,” said Tom Kinisky, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. “We are pleased to be moving forward, under agreement with the state, to help provide permanent public water supply connections for all of the affected residents of Litchfield.”