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April 02. 2013 10:31PM

Derry renews agreement with Manchester Water Works

DERRY - The town recently entered into a 25-year renewal agreement with Manchester Water Works.

The water works has been providing water to the central and western portion of town, as well as part of East Derry, for the past 30 years.

Deputy Director of Public Works Tom Carrier said the agreement renewal will assure that the town has a reliable, long-term source of water for decades to come.

In 1973, Derry commissioned a study of the adequacy of its water supply. The study found the gravel path mills being used at the time were not adequate to meet the town's water needs, and alternatives such as using ground and surface water from local ponds or an interconnection with Manchester Water Works were considered.

"The study concluded that the most reliable alternative would be the interconnection with Manchester Water Works," Carrier said.

The town's 1990 water master plan reaffirmed that conclusion, he said.

The town and Manchester Water Works entered into the original wholesale water agreement in 1983, with the water works agreeing to a maximum of 2.1 million gallons per day of water capacity.

That capacity was increased to 2.9 million gallons per day of capacity in 1998 when the agreement was renewed.

In 2012, Derry's purchased water from Manchester Water Works averaged just over 1.4 million gallons per day and peak monthly use was 1.8 million gallons per day, Carrier said.

He said this allows for 1.1 million gallons per day, or a 60 percent additional growth in the Derry system over the next 25 years.

According to Carrier, the proposed new agreement is substantively the same as the current agreement. He stated the wholesale rate has been revised from $0.595 to $0.988 per 100 cubic feet to reflect the most recent Manchester Water Works rate increase.

Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks asked whether the town had ever gone over the capacity limit with Manchester Water Works. Carrier said the town had not, but did come close in the early 2000s when Sanmina was at peak production in Derry. However, water use has been down since Sanmina left Derry, he said.

There are provisions in the agreement that allow for changes in the water rate and the capacity limits, Carrier said.

aswift@newstote.com


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