State fund to pay for clean water delivery from Durham well

LEE — A handful of properties around the Lee Traffic Circle contaminated by a gasoline additive could soon get access to cleaner water.
The state Department of Environmental Services is working with Durham, Lee and the University of New Hampshire to extend water lines to the affected properties, which currently use treatment systems to remove the additive MtBE.
“The objective of the Lee Traffic Circle water line extension project is to solve a MtBE drinking water well contamination problem while providing a net benefit … to Durham, Lee and UNH,” said Gary Lynn, administrator of the state MtBE Remediation Bureau.
The state now requires gas tanks and piping to be double walled to catch any leaks.
The remediation project consists of extending a well from the town of Durham’s well in Lee near Five Corners to the traffic circle.
Most of the line, which runs about 1.5 miles, will follow the state right of way alongside Route 4.
The state also will contribute $1 million toward the $19 million UNH water treatment plant replacement project.
The water reaching the Lee circle would be the same used by UNH and the roughly 1,400 Durham water customers.
The UNH water plant money comes from a separate pot funded from a $236 million judgment against Exxon Mobil.
Lynn said money from the two sources has been used for numerous clean water projects around the state.

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