Plans for shared Jaffrey/Peterborough water treatment facilities move forward

  • Town of Jaffrey Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/15/2021 2:38:33 PM

The town of Jaffrey has applied for a grant to help fund the new Coldstone Springs shared municipal water system.

The Coldstone Springs property straddles Jaffrey and Sharon and has three functioning wells that have already been tested and rated as drinking water.

The project includes developing the existing wells on the property, as well as constructing a new joint water treatment plant, and connecting the treatment plant to both the Peterborough and Jaffrey water systems.

The total project cost is anticipated to be $12,625,000, with the cost split between Jaffrey and Peterborough, which will co-own the system.

The cost for Jaffrey is $4,930,000, while Peterborough is responsible for the remaining $7,695,000.

During a Jaffrey Select Board meeting Monday, Town Manager Jon Frederick informed the board the town has applied for a $2.2 million grant from the state’s Economic Development Administration. Though this is an increase in the initially anticipated request, Frederick said the chances were “favorable” of receiving the support for the project.

“Conversations with the EDA are favorable,” Frederick said. “The state is very attentive to this project.”

The board also discussed an aspect of the project that could have inflated the final cost significantly – treatment of nitrate and chlorate in the water.

Currently, the water sources Peterborough and Jaffrey would be drawing from are below the standards set for safe drinking water, and do not have to be treated for those contaminants, Frederick explained. Peterborough and Jaffrey met with representatives from the state to discuss whether the proposed treatment plant have a treatment process built in, regardless.

Frederick said the concern was potentially changing standards in the future.

Following the meeting with the state, Frederick said the staff for both Peterborough and Jaffrey were in agreement that the treatment was not needed right now – as it would add potentially more than $1 million to the project – but the building would be designed to allow it to be added in the future.

Frederick informed the board that the town of Peterborough had yet to take an official vote on the issue, but would receive a similar recommendation to move forward with the construction of the water treatment plant without the ability to treat for chlorate and nitrate, but leave the option open for additional facilities to be added later, if there was ever a need.

The Jaffrey board agreed  to move unanimously to move forward with the plan, without nitrate or chlorate treatment facilities.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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