Despite Saint-Gobain contamination deal, Litchfield residents frustrated with town water hookup

“In my opinion I am not happy with it because we weren’t given a choice,” said Greg Richardson of Litchfield, whose home was connected to Pennichuck water last summer after contamination was discovered.
Although state officials are encouraging homeowners to have their private wells decommissioned, Darlington said no progress has been made, even though she and her husband, David, opted for their well to be decommissioned nearly a year ago.
“We know this has been a two-year journey and it is not over yet,” DES Commissioner Bob Scott said Wednesday during a public meeting highlighting the consent decree that will add municipal water connections to 300 more properties; 450 properties have already been hooked up.
Water lines, curb stops Despite the significance of the consent decree, Freise said it does not include separate negotiations between Saint-Gobain and Merrimack Village District, the public water company that serves 25,000 residents in Merrimack and has two contaminated wells now off-line.
The consent decree provides municipal water line connections to 121 additional properties in Bedford, 41 more properties in Merrimack and 27 new properties in Litchfield.
In addition, curb stops will be installed to 109 undeveloped properties in Manchester, Litchfield, Merrimack and Bedford so that municipal water may be provided if the sites are developed.
The total remedial price-tag being paid by Saint-Gobain was not disclosed on Wednesday, although Freise said Saint-Gobain has already paid about $14 million for work in Litchfield prior to having a consent decree in place.
Testing at Merrimack plant “We have already identified there is a lot of contamination on the site itself,” Freise said of Saint-Gobain’s Merrimack parcel.
A remedial action plan will be necessary at the Merrimack plant, according to Freise.
“With this consent decree now signed, we remain committed to working with community partners to finalize the work left to be done.” The municipal water line connections will take time, and it will be messy, explained Freise, asking residents to be patient and stressing that Saint-Gobain is anxious to get the work done, especially since negotiations are now over.

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