“HAMPTON — A drinking water well shut down last year due to contaminant levels will go back online this summer, but Aquarion Water Company heads say customers can be confident their water is safe to consume.
Aquarion officials told selectmen Monday they will use ‘source control’ – precise control of which wells send water into the system – to dilute levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water provided to customers in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. The well will go back online to help Aquarion meet high demand during the summer months, though exactly when the well will be used is not determined.
‘What we can do is optimize our operations with what we have, minimize PFAS levels in the tap water,’ Aquarion Operations Manager Carl McMorran told selectmen.
PFAS, also known as perfluorochemicals or PFCs, found in household materials like Teflon, have been linked to certain types of cancers. They have been found in Aquarion water at levels that do not exceed federal and state drinking water standards. Well 6, the well shut down last August, also did not have PFAS levels that exceeded those standards.
Still, Seacoast elected officials including Hampton selectmen have expressed concern for the presence of PFAS in Aquarion water, and the company shut down the well in response to public concern.
Before being shut down, Well 6 operated 12 months out of the year, McMorran said. Well 6 will now only be used as needed, he said, turned on after other wells have been tapped. He said it may only be used 50 percent of the time over the course of two months this year…
Selectmen were told in December it would cost $5.7 million in capital costs and an estimated $300,000 in new annual costs to treat six wells.
Tests involving the technology for removing PFAS from water are being conducted to help identify more firm costs, said Dan Lawrence, Aquarion’s director of engineering and planning.
He said results from the tests should come back by May and that a resulting report with the new cost estimates would be available in June. The originally estimated cost of $5.7 million would amount to a 16 percent rate increase for ratepayers, Aquarion said in December, rates set by the company’s utility costs.”
Read the full article by Max Sullivan.