U.S. Water News Online
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire is spending up to $1 million
to study whether it makes sense to take sewage from as many as 44
seacoast communities and pump it out to sea through a pipeline.
As many as 15 engineering firms were expected to submit bids for
the state contract to study the plan.
The study will estimate the cost, practicality and ecological
effect of linking as many as 16 municipal treatment plants, which
serve dozens of communities. Treated wastewater from those plants now
goes into streams that empty into Great Bay, Hampton Harbor and the
The study will include at least two public information sessions
and will involve every community in the area and some in Maine.
Clean water regulations are making it more expensive for
municipalities to treat effluent that is being dumped into the rivers
In Massachusetts, Boston-area communities pump treated effluent
through a 9 1/2-mile-long tunnel into water 100 feet deep in
Massachusetts Bay. That tunnel is part of a $3.8 billion sewage
The seacoast project would not be that large, but it has been
compared to a $70 million project in the 1970s that joined sewer
systems in the Lakes Region. The project funnelled waste from the
communities to a central state-operated treatment plant and helped
clean up the Merrimack River.
The study will consider alternatives including doing nothing,
creating a regional wastewater plant and using the treated water to
irrigate golf courses. It also will study a hybrid plan of combining
dumping effluent at sea with a land-based sewage system.
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