State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)
New Hampshire Public Utility Commission (PUC)
State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships
FUNDING INTERCONNECTIONS WITH STATE LOAN FUNDS
New Hampshire offers financial assistance for regionalizing or interconnecting systems through the State Interconnection and Groundwater Investigation (SIGI) grant, which provides a 25 percent reimbursement of costs for planning, design and construction of piping, pumping, and source improvements associated with interconnection of two or more PWSs.
DWSRF PRIORITIZATION OF CONSOLIDATION PROJECTS
PWSs in need of significant TMF assistance through the Capacity Development Program are identified through sanitary surveys, referrals from contract operators, requests from water systems, customer complaints, and repeat enforcement or non-compliance. The state notifies these systems of recommended improvements in site visit reports or sanitary survey reports, and the systems are entered into a “capacity development tracking database.” Systems on this list will be awarded up to 30 points if they apply for DWSRF funding: 20 points for any kind of infrastructure project to address capacity issues, and an additional 10 points if the project includes interconnecting to a more viable PWS. Very small (population less than 100) disadvantaged communities with failing infrastructure qualify for the “Very Small System Compliance Loan fund,” which are 100 percent subsidized loans.
STATE ORDERED CONSOLIDATION OR RECEIVERSHIP
Under New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated 374:47, the New Hampshire PUC may appoint a receiver when the PUC finds that a PWS is failing to provide adequate and reasonable service and that the failure presents a serious and imminent threat to the health of the community, or when a regulated system is consistently failing to provide adequate and reasonable service. The PUC staff or appointed receiver have the authority to assess and manage all system assets and records. NHDES has the authority to investigate public water supplies and to require improvements, including consolidation or extension of water supplies. A DES Investigation is required when 10 or more people report water quality or quantity concerns for a particular water system. If the Department determines that an extension of water service from an existing PWS is the most feasible and cost-effective alternative; that the extension is consistent with municipal master planning, rules, and policy; and that the existing PWS has adequate capacity to serve the problem area, the DES can order an existing system to allow the connection.
Helpful Links to State Resources
- Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/index.htm
- Small Public Water Supply Help Center and Capacity Assurance: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/capacity/
- Operator Certification and Training: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/op_cert/categories/training.htm
- Public Water System Grants: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/capacity/pwsg.htm