Merrimack Public Water Customers Demand Accountability At Commissioners' Meeting

Jun 21, 2016

Credit John K via Flickr CC

Residents concerned about PFOA contamination in Merrimack’s public water supplies demanded more accountability from commissioners at a meeting held on Monday.

Unlike many other towns in New Hampshire, Merrimack’s public water is overseen by an independent board of commissioners and is not coordinated with town government.

“What are we doing about blood testing? What are we doing about filtration systems?” resident Jim Bollengier asked the commissioners. “Those are the kinds of things you need to address to the public about where we’re going.”

Residents near the Saint-Gobain Plastics Plant with private wells containing over a 70 parts-per-trillion concentration of PFOA  have gotten free bottled water, and will be eligible for free blood testing from the state. The public water in Merrimack has been below that concentration since two wells were shut off – meaning residents on public water don’t get any of those free services.

While the remaining wells have tested as high as 45 parts per trillion in the past, the most recent water test shows PFOA concentrations barely above background levels: between 10 and 13 parts per trillion.

PFOA levels in Merrimack’s public wells regularly vary as much as 20 parts per trillion between tests, which the state conducts on a weekly basis.