The drinking water interconnection project was built following PFAS contamination
On Nov. 26, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the completion of the Pennichuck Merrimack River Interconnection. The project will provide year-round water supply to residents of Litchfield, N.H., and surrounding towns that have been impacted by per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS).
Private water supplies in the area were contaminated by PFAS linked to the Saint-Gobain Performance plant in Merrimack, N.H., as reported by the New Hampshire Business Review. The project connects the Pennichuck Water Works system in Merrimack through an under-river crossing of the Merrimack River to the Pennichuck East Utility system in Litchfield.
“This project is critical to delivering an ample supply of clean drinking water to those across the river in Litchfield living with contaminated wells,” said Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem. “Many of us take clean water from granted, but providing a clean drinking water source to communities is exactly what this Trust Fund was designed to do.”
Funding was provided by both the New Hampshire Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund. A $2.4 million loan from the state revolving fund, $900,000 in loans from commercial lenders, and a $600,000 grant form the state Drinking WAter and Groundwater Trust Fund comprised the funding. In addition, that trust fund is supplied through a $236 million settlement with ExxonMobil Corp. related to groundwater contamination.
Members of the state Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission, state Department of Environmental Services, and officials from Pennichuck Corp. participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.