Residents affected by contaminated water may require bottled water all summer

Nearly 400 homes affected

-by Kristen Carosa, originally posted on April 24, 2016


Residents of nearly 400 homes may need to drink bottled all summer due to PFOA contamination, officials said.

State officials found high levels of PFOA near the Saint-Gobain plant in Merrimack, leading to an investigation into the drinking water in the area.

With water tests underway in five communities, some neighbors said they’re running out of patience.

Hundreds of residents came to the Litchfield Transfer Station Sunday to pick up two weeks’ worth of free bottled water while this investigation continues.

Residents said they are thankful for this but remain concerned.

“Our anticipation is certainly that right through the summer we will be providing bottled water to hundreds of homeowners,” said Andrew Fulton, of the Department of Environmental Services.

The water is being provided by the state to people affected by potentially contaminated drinking water in Litchfield, Merrimack, Londonderry, Bedford and Manchester.

“I think they will take care of it, said Phyllis Provencher, of Litchfield. “All we can do is wait and see.”

“The level that we are looking at is 100 parts per trillion, and if any of the neighborhoods have a well that tested above that level than we want that neighborhood on bottled water,” said DES Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise.

Nearly 400 homes are receiving bottled water.

Soil testing will begin this week at eight locations in Merrimack and Litchfield, and while that’s going on, officials are working on a solution to the problem.

“Right now, we are working with Saint-Gobain and looking at what the options are and it’s usually either a treatment facility or connecting people to municipal water,” said Freise.

In the meantime, people affected are taking advantage of the free water.

“I have been buying bottled water, but being offered the free water, here I am,” said Jack Rainville, of Litchfield.

Rainville said he is concerned about the contamination.

“I want some kind of end to it, I want some kind of answer,” said Rainville.

DES officials have been keeping residents updated by holding informational meetings and posting information on the department’s website.

“We do have an information line that is set up if people call in they can get connected to a nurse and they can talk them through what we do and don’t know,” said Freise.

Officials said they hope this will be the last distribution day here.

They are working to get water delivered to affected homes as the investigation moves forward.

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