Concord to work with Bow in water expansion project

Pumps move water from Lake Penacook to the water treatment facility in Concord as seen on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

Pumps move water from Lake Penacook to the water treatment facility in Concord as seen on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. ELIZABETH FRANTZ


Monitor staff

Published: 03-04-2024 10:00 AM

After over 40 years of attempts, the city of Concord has finally agreed to work with Bow in helping extend its water main and connect it with Concord’s water system.

“They have given the OK. We’ve had meetings. Our engineers are working with their engineers and the logistics of how we would tie into their system,” said town manager David Stack.

Bow undertook the water expansion project following a feasibility study in 2019, which revealed poor water quality in the Bow Mills or Bow South Street area and Bow Junction, attributed to contamination from a gasoline additive, Methyl tertiary-butyl Ether (MtBE). The presence of MtBE is commonly associated with leaking underground gasoline storage tanks.

Even water treatment systems the Grappone auto group has installed need constant replacement of water tanks and piping because they get corroded due to the presence of sodium and MtBE chemicals discharged into groundwater as a result of leaking fuel tanks, said Stack.

With the expertise of DuBois & King, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Bedford, the town will address the issue with a master plan implementing a water loop at Bow Junction.

It involves creating a loop in the current water main, starting from the town line where it connects with the city of Concord’s water supply. The loop will extend along Route 3A and provide a service line to the area near the Grappone auto dealerships along the Interstate 93/Interstate 89 interchange in Bow.

According to the 20-year draft agreement between the two municipalities, Bow will be responsible for maintaining the water lines within its town. Bow will also pay a premium of 10% over the current water rates for its commercial users.

Furthermore, the two municipalities will jointly shoulder any increase in property tax assessments for properties in Bow that are connected to Concord’s water supply.

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If Concord had not chosen to work with Bow, the town would have had to spend $12 million to improve water quality at the two junctions and bring up their own water. However, with Concord’s cooperation, the cost is estimated to be around $3 million.

Bow hopes to start construction next summer after ironing out the details with Concord. Simultaneously, Bow is exploring grants and funding opportunities for the project.

“We’ve made a lot of progress. Just the fact that they’re willing to sit and talk about potential terms for the agreement. So we’re moving along,” said Stack.