Regulating the collection and treatment of wastewater across the state to protect public health and the environment.

Wastewater is water affected by human use from any combination of domestic, commercial, or industrial activities. Assorted contaminants and pollutants can enter the wastewater stream from these sources, so wastewater must be treated before it can be released back into the environment in order to protect human health and the environment.

Wastewater is treated at state-regulated Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs). Facility size and treatment methods vary depending on flow volume and the composition of the wastewater entering that specific facility. Wastewater treatment may include physical, chemical or biological processes; WWTFs use different combinations of these treatment processes depending on the wastewater source and the level of treatment required by the effluent discharge permit.

NHDES ensures wastewater attains a sufficient level of treatment so that it can be released into ground and surface waters by regulating discharges from WWTFs. We do this by:

  • Reviewing and permitting proper design and construction of WWTFs.
  • Providing technical assistance, operator training, and operator certification.
  • Conducting compliance inspections.
  • Certifying discharge permits under the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) to ensure that WWTF discharges do not violate applicable state rules and regulations.
  • Providing financial assistance in the form of below market interest loans and grants for eligible projects.
  • Verifying that industrial discharges to municipal WWTFs do not adversely impact the operation or maintenance of the WWTF.
  • Ensuring that all septage and sludge management activities are performed in accordance with State and Federal standards.

Winnipesaukee River Basin Program

The Winnipesaukee River Basin Program (WRBP) is the state-owned sewer system and wastewater treatment facility serving portions of the New Hampshire Lakes Region communities of Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Gilford, Meredith, Laconia, Belmont, Sanbornton, Northfield, Tilton and Franklin.