DES Announces Award Recipients for Drinking Water Protection Efforts
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has announced the recipients of DES’s 2010 Source Water Protection Awards. The award recognizes a water system, municipality, organization, or person for exemplary efforts to protect drinking water sources such as groundwater, reservoirs, and streams.
DES is honoring the Lakes Region Planning Commission (LRPC) and former Senior Planner, Erica Anderson, for their work on aquifer protection in the towns of Belmont, Northfield, and Tilton. This year, the three towns adopted aquifer protection ordinances developed by local groups coordinated and assisted by Anderson, who worked for several years at LRPC assisting the three towns with aquifer protection. As a result of the ordinances, the Tri-Town Aquifer, which supplies water to five community water systems in the three towns, will be protected from land uses that would pose an increased threat of groundwater contamination. Anderson is currently a Working Lands Planner with the Land–of–Sky Regional Council in North Carolina. LRPC, based in Meredith, recently launched a project to protect the Ossipee Aquifer in the towns of Effingham, Freedom, Ossipee, Sandwich, and Tamworth in partnership with Effingham-based Green Mountain Conservation Group and Ossipee-based Ossipee Watershed Coalition. Both projects (Tri-Town Aquifer and Ossipee Aquifer) have received grants from DES.
DES is also honoring the Seabrook Water and Sewer Advisory Committee and its chair, Sue Foote, for their work in achieving water conservation. In 2003, Seabrook residents connected to the town’s water system enjoyed an unlimited amount of water for a relatively low annual fee, but the water system was on the brink of a water supply emergency. A ban on outdoor watering was a standard practice in Seabrook to keep its wells and tanks from going dry, and for a brief period of time, Seabrook had to construct an emergency water supply of marginal water quality to meet its summertime water supply needs. Foote and the committee assessed the condition of Seabrook’s available water supply and successfully garnered broad public support to fund water meters and other water system improvements. They convinced Seabrook residents to drop their historically strong opposition to the installation of residential water meters and take the long view in weighing the costs and benefits associated with installing water meters. Passage of the measure has resulted in the identification and repair of countless leaks and the termination of numerous water misuses in the system, saving the water system thousands of gallons of water a day, protecting the environment and preserving available water supply for future use.
DES Commissioner Thomas Burack presented the awards at DES’s annual Drinking Water Source Protection Workshop held at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on April 30, 2010.
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