Let's Talk Windham Water
Well, Well, Well, Let's Talk Windham Water
Without a doubt, the recent drought has put water as a dominant topic of discussion in local communities. For the past four years, long before the drought, the Windham Economic Development Committee’s (WEDC) Infrastructure subcommittee, has been working with Department of Environmental Services (DES) to address water concerns in the town of Windham and Southern New Hampshire.
However, before one considers the town’s water needs for economic development, let’s take a moment to review some interesting facts about Windham’s primary water supply:
- Since 1984 a total of 2,412 wells have been constructed in Windham.
- Wells are constructed in either overburden soil (sand and gravel) or are drilled into bedrock.
- Windham’s overburden wells have half of the soil thickness above bedrock than surrounding towns, thus lessening available water.
- Average bedrock well depth is 509 feet and is 34% deeper than the average NH bedrock well, indicating obtaining water is more difficult than surrounding towns.
- 359 bedrock wells in Windham have been deepened or replaced since 1984.
- With limited overburden, the bedrock water supply becomes more susceptible to surface contamination.
- Drawing down the Aquifer is a continuous concern, in terms of water quality and quantity, as the town has expanded.
- One out of 5 wells (20%) in NH/Windham have some level of arsenic contamination.
Given these unique environmental conditions, Windham must be ever vigilant to protect the quality and quantity of our drinking water. Risks associated with underground storage tanks, hazardous materials spills, airborne emissions, and traffic accidents are a constant threat to our water supply. In the past and present, Windham has experienced several water contamination issues and the next WEDC article will focus on these issues.
Future for Windham
WEDC recognizes having an adequate water supply is critically important to our quality of life and protecting our economic future, and the Committee will continue to actively explore possible water supply options for our community.
WEDC meets on the 2nd Friday of each month at 7:30 a.m., in Windham Community Development Department. All meetings are televised and available on local Cable Channel WCTV, or on Videos on Demand - view the WCTV website.