Town of Salem Water Source Informational Meeting

Salem water.PNG

On May 10th Roy Sorensen, Salem’s Director of Municipal Services and then Senator Chuck Morse gave an update on the additional water source proposed for Salem.  The Canobie Lake Protective Association requests all residents of Salem to JOIN and SUPPORT the efforts of the Town of Salem to fully support the proposed pipeline and buy-in to the max reserve water allocation.  This is a "too good to be true" and "once in a lifetime opportunity" for an increased supply of water to meet the water needs of the future.

The following is a summary of the key points of the proposal as presented at the meeting.  The entire presentation can be viewed online at

1.  The State of NH is going to pay for the main pipeline. It would bring treated water from the Manchester water department down route 28 to Salem, for distribution to Salem, Windham, Atkinson, Hampstead and Plaistow.  Actually, the State has a special fund from the MtBE legal settlement that will pay for the pipeline.  So no taxpayer money is required, from either the state or the local communities that will benefit.

2.  Each of the towns mentioned above needs a reliable source of clean drinking water.  A regional solution, such as this one, offers better reliability and economy than multiple individual solutions.  And making use of the MtBE settlement funds is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

3.  Salem needs an additional source of water for its municipal water system.  NHDES has been urging this for 20 years.  Salem has looked for additional sources of water and has not found any as attractive as this.

4.  Salem will have an opportunity to reserve a portion of the capacity of the main pipeline.  "Reserve" means to get an allocation that will permit Salem to draw up to a certain number of million gallons per day.  Salem doesn't have to use it all right away, but they can.  Initially, the allocation would be 0.3 mgal/d and after the treatment plant in Manchester is expanded Salem would grow to 1.5 mgal/d.  Salem and the other participating towns need to pay a one-time up-front fee to reserve their allocation.  Senator Chuck Morse advocates that Salem should reserve the max allocated amounts.  That would give Salem a secure water future.  The CLPA agrees.  It will also reduce the chances that Canobie Lake and Arlington Pond might be overdrawn in the future.

Here is a breakdown of the meeting by minutes: 

First 15 mins: Roy Sorensen presents the Southern NH Regional Drinking Water Supply update

Then 40 mins: of Q/A from the audience (starting at 0:16)

Followed by 20 mins: of Senator Chuck Morse sharing break down of the special funding, why this is so important to the Southern Regions of NH, and how Salem residents can show support (starting at 0:57)

Total time 1:22

Thank you for your support!

CLPA Board