NH Water News

Raymond’s Water Supply Suffient Despite State’s Request to Conserve
By Penny Williams   8-28-15

While the State has called for a voluntary ban on outdoor watering to increase Lamprey River flows downstream in Lee and Durham, the Town of Raymond’s water system does not itself face a water shortage.

Raymond Public Works Director Steve Brewer said “the Town of Raymond water system (has) no shortage. The (water) towers have sufficient water stored to address the needs of the Fire Department and the water customers. The water towers are at their normal levels.”

With that said, however, he noted the area has been suffering from dry weather that has resulted in low flows in the Lamprey River. That has led the State of New Hampshire Inflow Stream Program to issue a voluntary water ban for outdoor water use - irrigation, car washing and the like. But recent rains have relieved that situation.

Brewer noted that the State monitors the flow of the Lamprey at the United States Geological Survey Newmarket station.

"When the flow drops below 16 cubic feet per second (cfs) for two days at this location, the State issues a call for a voluntary water ban,” he explained. “If low flow continues, it could escalate to a mandatory water ban. On Aug. 17 the flow was about 9 cfs.” More recently it was up to more than 45 cfs.

“The State reasons that in periods of drought, the groundwater that makes its way to the Lamprey River is intercepted by the Town wells and the residential wells, and that to the extent that folks use less water, more water will make it to the river and increase flows of the river,” Brewer explained. “The State’s principal area of concern was the Lee and Durham area. The voluntary water ban was applied to the entire Lamprey Watershed in an effort to increase flows downstream in Lee and Durham."

Brewer discussed the Raymond water system in detail at a Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) meeting in late June, and led a tour for the CIP committee that was taped and is available for viewing on Raymond Community TV  through PEG Central at CIP Tour of Water Department .

Brewer discussed the Town’s wells, water towers, and the blockhouse where the pipes come together, and also explained the treatment plant, control room and storage area. He noted that the well water has too much iron and manganese, but their levels are reduced through a chemical cleansing process before the water is pumped out through the distribution system to 1,000 residential and 200 commercial customers.

The Town has three wells, all located off Cider Ferry Road; the treatment plant is located there as well. Well 1, which came from Manchester Sand and Gravel along with the land in 1963, is experiencing screening difficulties, Brewer said, and was cleaned and a replacement pump was installed at a cost of $10,000, funded with Capital Reserve Funds (CRF). Brewer explained that each year voters face a warrant article to appropriate money for various water funds (well cleaning, painting towers, etc.). He noted these funds function like savings accounts for this type of activity.

That well’s screen system needs to be replaced, but at great expense, Brewer said, and the Town is drilling in the same area with hopes of finding a new well.

What would be Well 4 is located at the edge of the lower athletic practice field at Raymond High School, and the Town hopes to bring it on line. Brewer said the addition of Well 4 would relieve stress on the current wells and treatment process. The Town tries to use two wells at a time on a rotating basis except during peak season, when all three have to be called into use.

Regarding Well 4, Brewer said, "We have filed a preliminary application for a loan through a State of New Hampshire revolving loan program to fund the design and engineering of the infrastructure needed to connect the new well to the existing distribution system. The well is located at the high school and the distribution system is located on Route 27 at the end of Harriman Hill Road.”

He said a Warrant Article will go before the voters in March to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a loan agreement to fund the infrastructure work on the new well. The loan also includes money to construct a replacement well for Well 1 in the Cider Ferry well field.

The leach field where the minerals that are removed from the raw water are disposed of has to be dredged and the sludge transported to a landfill every 10 years at a cost of $10,000, and that is coming due. A permit from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) for the work must be obtained. Brewer said the permit would be issued for disposal of the backwash lagoons once the sediment is tested and processed with the permit application.

The Town has three water towers – on Orchard Street, Long Hill Road and Route 156. The two towers in use are full and provide needed water in times of emergency.

Brewer said Tower 3 is 115 years old. The towers have to be cleaned and repainted inside and out and DES wants this done at Tower 3 now, but he is considering decommissioning the tower because Towers 1 and 2 provide sufficient capacity.

Brewer said a new tower, if needed could be built, and doing so might be more cost-effective than redoing Tower 1.

The Route 156 tower needs to be repainted and cleaned at an estimated cost of $342,000, Brewer noted. The question for the CIP is whether to decommission Tower 1 and focus on the Route 156 tower, constructed in 1958. To date the committee has not made a decision regarding these issues.

Brewer also noted recent water main work on Epping Street, the result of a leak in one of the two water mains under the road.

"The ailing 6-inch main is very, very old, so to avoid repeated breaks we, with the blessing of the Board of Selectmen, elected to move all users to the new 10-inch main," he said. "The construction was associated with transferring those connections from the 6-inch main to the 10-inch main.”

After the final connections are made near the Town Common, the trenches will be paved.

If residents have additional questions about the Raymond Water System, the Raymond Public Works Director Steve Brewer can be contacted at 603-895-4735 x 107.



























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