New Hampshire Town Experiencing Water Woes

Residents of Seabrook, N.H., are being billed $6 million in water-related expenses, yet they can’t drink the water, wash their clothes, water their lawns, or fill their swimming pools, the Portsmouth Herald reported.

The town's water, which is drwan from local wells, is clouded by iron and manganese. Residents' property tax bill was raised by $3.6 million last year to pay for water meters and to find new sources of water. This year they are paying by bond a new $2.6 million to remove arsenic along with the iron and manganese from their water.

Residents' anger finally bubbled over when the state issued a boil water mandate due to the discovery of E. coli bacteria in the water. That was when they began taking their frustration to Water and Sewer Superintendent Warner Knowles, the Herald reported.

Knowles assured the residents that the situation would be resolved once the new $2.6 million arsenic removal system goes online.

The only good news concerning the recent water crisis is the six inches of rain that fell between March 31 and April 2, which brought all wells but one up 4 feet. Still, Knowles turned down a request for a partial lifting of the two-year old ban on outside watering. The mandatory ban forbids the use of an outside hose.

Knowles also turned down a request to flush water pipes to push any sediment out of the system.

"We haven’t flushed in four years," he told the Herald. "It would take four nights to flush the entire town. It would take a million gallons a night, it’s not prudent ... it’s wasting water."

The Portsmouth Herald

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